Friday, February 6, 2015

Two Horses Engage in Swordplay

It’s something I was not supposed to see.

Okay, I should confess at this point that the objects involved were not, despite the headline, swords.  But they could have been, and they were utilized as such.  Everything else set forth in this story is the stone cold truth, with no exaggeration.

Recently I was talking my morning walk, which I try to do daily to stay healthy and perhaps keep my remaining kidney from falling out, when I saw something remarkable.   I was walking along the fence at the boundary of the small ranch next to my subdivision when I saw two horses engaging each other in some kind of activity that I couldn’t quite make out.  No, not that.  I looked closer.  The two of them had orange plastic traffic cones in their mouths—you know, the type that workmen tend to set out when they’re tearing up a city street that they’d previously torn up the month before.  The animals were whacking away at one another with the cones like two kids playing with plastic light sabers on Christmas morning.

It was surreal—so much so that I whirled around to see if Rod Serling might be standing behind me with a lighted cigarette in his hand, wearing a bemused expression as he prepared to explain to viewers how one unsuspecting man had just crossed over into—well, you know the rest.  But no.  I was alone.

The white horse has just whacked the brown one
Reaching for my cell phone, I turned back to the horses.  The white horse was whacking the brown horse on the face, which caused him to drop his cone.  He looked at her like, “Hey!”  I snapped off a shot.  She made as if to hit him again but then dropped her cone.  Both went to re-arm themselves.   I snapped a second shot.  She picked hers up—third shot. 

They go to re-arm themselves
Then I got busted.  Both horses dropped their cones and whipped their heads around, staring at me.  And then in a flash, just lack that, both of them went back to being horses again.  No more cone play.  They ambled off, going about their horse business.

The white horse is about to be back in business
It was like I had lived a cartoon panel right out of The Far Side or Bizarro.  I suspected I had seen something no human was supposed to see.  And it made me wonder:  what else do horses do that we don’t know about?  Perhaps these two get together with friends for an occasional game of cards.  Maybe they have a garage band—that certainly would explain the loud bass thumps that rattle windows in the neighborhood on some nights.  I can just imagine them sitting around watching TV, munching on pretzels while taking in a show (“The Real Horses of Pima County”?  “So You Think You Can Prance”?  “Equine Dynasty”?  “Say Yes to the Sugar Cube?”)  or perhaps catching the news. 

The latter actually fits better; maybe they watch the occasional Congressional hearing on CSPAN.  That would certainly help inspire the production of what horses are famous for producing, and there’s a whole lot of it on the bridle path leading to that ranch.

There’s no way to know.  But I’ll be watching more closely.  Meanwhile, I continued on with my walk, serene in the knowledge that no matter how much you think you’ve seen, you never know what new wonders the day may bring.


If you enjoyed this, I invite you to check out my novels, the latest of which just got good reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.  Go here to learn more, download sample chapters and see purchase links.

©2015 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

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