Thursday, April 2, 2009


Some things in my life are as predictable as the sun rising in the east, Wal-Mart not having enough cashiers, and the U.S. Postal Service having a minium of six people waiting in line at any given time of day.

Also, in my universe:

1) I can never walk out of Target with less than $45 worth of merchandise, even if I came in for only one thing.

2) The moon will always set 10 minutes before I expect it to, necessitating a literal walking-by-faith-and-memory walk for about 40 yards around 11:30 p.m. to say good night to the horses.

3) My dog Murray will never refuse a piece of bologna or an opportunity to go outside with me.

And 4) each and every day, both my horses will be lined up at the fence right by their water tank at 3:30 p.m., and if they are not fed by 3:45 p.m., Najale will begin whining every three and one half minutes until they are.


So today at 3:55 p.m., when I glanced out the kitchen window and see - GASP - no horses at all. No whinnying. No hoof stomping. Nada.

My heart stopped for just a moment.

The dogs and I went outside, walked slowly and deliberately to the gate, calling the horses loudly by name.

Now, my horse, he hears his name if I whisper it inside the house next to an open window. Literally. Sometimes he responds to me just THINKING about him.

He has never, in the five and a half years I have owned him, once ignored a call from me - because there might just be food involved.

If Najale is sound asleep on the ground (which horses don't in general, so of course it's the only way mine does), he does not leap to his hooves like a regular horse., but he will peer sleepily at me and will let me sit on his side and pet him (this horse is either incredibly trusting or just plain stupid, I'm not entirely certain which).

So with no response this afternoon, when normally there would be two hungry horses responding (doesn't mean I don't feed them enough, just means Najale is an incredibly vocal PIG), I began to panic just a bit, and began to mentally list possibilities:

- They could have jumped the fence and taken off for greener pastures. Not that there really are greener pastures at this time of year in southern Arizona, but there are a number of spots along the fence that either horse could easily hop over if they really wanted to.

- Both horses could have died at the extreme far end of the pasture, burying each other so I won't notice the bodies - or maybe they both preferred cremation, who knows.

- Najale and/or Sally could have been stolen by someone looking for a pleasure horse without knowing Sally is an insane Thoroughbred who believes she is running at Belmont whenever you get on her back, and Najale who, despite his age, is a goofy baby who has never had a bit in his mouth and opens only voice commands... when he feels like it.

- And the final, and least likely one of all, is that they are BOTH standing compactly side-by-side inside their shed at the exact angle and spot where their hooves cannot be seen from outside of the fence.

And yes, they were.



Jen said...

My horses used to break down the fence & head for the highway- it would give me a heart attack. And they had a special talent for picking rainy nights when my parents were gone for their adventures. One of them could shake off ANY halter you slapped on him, so there were times I literally had to drag him home with a shoelace from my shoe.

(Picture smallish girl, around 12 years old, soaking wet, wearing one shoe, towing 16 hands of reluctant horse. Fun times.)

And yet I still desperately miss having horses. One day...

Sailing Past Maturity Straight into Senility said...

Since I have adopted you, mi caballo es su caballo.

It's wonderful to have horse again - I sure hope you don't have to wait as long as I did.