Our vet lady’s mare has drunk the cool-aid. That’s about the only explanation I can muster that explains why an otherwise good and level-headed western-broke mare would not only seem to like the sweet-talkin but evil vet lady, but also maybe even like her even more than I like my own bucket gal. I know — crazy talk, from me. My thoughts was directed thusly one time when we went for a trail ride all around the County Island with the two of ‘em. It was after the time when the vet lady brought me a bucket of feed out of the blue, which aroused both my suspicions and also my appetite. So, I was already feelin a bit bamboozled by the vet lady even before I realized she was our ridin partner for the day.
Now, her good, broke mare’s only got one good eye. I noticed it before when she’s been rode by, but it ain’t good ranch manners to ask a one-eyed horse what happened to its other eye no more than it’s been good manners to ask a three-legged coyote if it’s seen any traps lately. A horse can hurt an eye on all manners of sticks stuck out of brush, or even on cactus thorns on accident. Or maybe she got in a bar fight with another horse. It happens. She’s still got the eye, of course, but the inside of it looks like a cloud in the sky and therefore she don’t see nothin out of it but maybe clouds. When she looks at ya, she gives more of a sideways glance, and bats her one good eye at ya purty enough to melt even a crusty old ranch geldin’s heart.
We was bein rode in and out of the washes, going cross-country instead of followin a marked trail, on account of the weather was cool enough for most of the snakes to still be sleepin in their snake-holes. And since the vet lady didn’t have her rumbly-truck which contains all the pokey things she uses to poke and prod at a horse in all his most personal places, and also since it didn’t sound like the vet lady nor the bucket gal was talkin about anythin to do with pokin or proddin at me directly, I stopped botherin to listen to their conversation. And so did the purty one-eyed mare. We set to makin our own small amount of trail talk.
The purty mare was walkin with her neck stretched out and relaxed, her lip droopin in a comfortable sleep-walkin manner, so I indicated with my ears to ask how she could ever relax like that around the sweet-talkin but evil vet lady, given how she’s a sweet-talkin but evil vet lady and all. And the mare raised her good eyebrow and gave me a look to say she didn’t know what I meant. She said, “My mom fixes horses and makes them feel better.”
I snorted hard through my nostrils, pretendin to clear out the trail dust, and indicated that if by better she meant worse, then I’d agree.
But no, she insisted. In fact, one time, she said, she knew another horse who thought sticking a stick straight through his eye would be a good idea, and her mom made the horse feel good as new — by taking out his bad eye completely and “fixing” him.
I stopped cold in my tracks, which earned me a kick from the bucket gal in the saddle. But the mare might as well have kicked me straight in the head, I was thusly stunned.
I asked her, what if she took your own eye out? And she said she supposed her “mom” would know what’s best and if her eye needed to come out, then she would be fixed — and that would be alright.
She went on to describe the things the vet lady, her “mom,” had done to her and her own herdmates over the years, in the name of fixin ‘em. Crackin their own bones, which she called ky-ro-practic. Pullin bad teeth straight out of their heads, which she called dentis-tree. Stickin them all straight full of needles as tiny and sharp as cactus spines, which she called learnin how to do acu-puncture — or, how to puncture a horse with holes on purpose.
Such stuff is condoned here on the County Island!? This was terrible trail talk. In fact, this was a terrible trail ride, which I never woulda dreamed was possible when all a horse is doin in a lot of walkin and nothin for no more than a couple of hours.
I knew right then that mare’d drank the cool-aid. No, I don’t know exactly what that means, but the people say it all the time so it can’t be right. The sweet-talkin but evil vet lady likely fills her horses’ water tubs full up with cool-aid every day and it’s thusly addled this good mare’s thoughts. There ain’t no other possible explanation for why any horse, much less one that’s owned directly by a vet lady, would think for one minute a vet was anythin less than evil, especially when it had seen firsthand such abominable examples with her own one good eye. But, the other explanation was maybe she’d decided it was easier to turn a blind eye toward it all, so to speak. I can understand that real well myself. I do it all the time here on the County Island, and I ain’t got an actual blind eye to blame it on.