Friday, November 28, 2008


I have a few daily habits. It's nice to have some reliable customs, since so much of what happens in our lives can't be controlled (illness, weather, president-elect) by us (although I did vote for Obama, and am VERY happy he won).

Every evening, around 10:30 p.m., my dog and I walk outside and back to where the horses are. Now, just so you can picture the scene accurately, I (and my dog) live in a rural area - no streetlights, no business lights, true darkness. It's great for watching the stars - but it is DARK.

I have pretty good night vision, and even when the moon isn't out, you can actually see your shadow by starlight. It's cool. But I have two advantages on this nightly trip.

1) Murray, my dog. Murray leads me out, comes back if I stop, and looks up with concern if I obviously can't see where I am going and have run straight into one of our many mesquite trees (and for those of you who are not familiar with Arizona plant life, to survive here, plants feel obligated to hurt you when you touch them, let alone run into them in the dark - and I mean draw BLOOD)

2) Najale, my horse, is black and white. And even though he is normally a very dusty, muddy and dirty white, those white sploshes still stand out enough that he is easy to spot.

Now Sally, the 'other' horse, is a bay mare - which means she's sorta reddish brown with a black mane and tail. She sorts fades into the woodwork, so to speak, at night. She's also pretty old (26 maybe?), so I will walk around the pasture and find her if she doesn't show up beside Najale in a few minutes.

Tonight? Najale is right there, ready for his evening carrots. I break each in half, and give Sally the top, smaller and generally softer part (bad teeth) and give Najale the bottom, harder part. And Sally always gets fed first. Najale is a greedy, pushy gelding who needs to wait his turn, and is normally good about it.

Tonight? (Didn't I just type that?) No Sally at the gate. I went ahead and gave Najale three carrots while I kept waiting for her to show up - finally undid the gate, and walked in to check and see if she was okay. And THEN she trots up, all hale and hearty, for her carrots.

But I made the SERIOUS mistake of concentrating on giving her her fair share of what was left - and NOT giving Najale his 'half.'

So.... he bit me.
Not hard - I mean, a horse who is seriously biting can do serious damage. I had a horse take off the top layer of my left hand - you could see the underlying bones. This was just a nip on my index finger of my right hard.

But even after keeping frozen peas (the world's best ice pack) on my finger for 35 minutes, it's pretty obvious that my fingernail is going to fall off soon, and I am going to have one sore finger for the next couple of weeks.

Don't feel sorry for me - my own fault. Just needed to tell someone the story - and brag about typing this entire thing with one heck of a sore finger.