Horseshoes hittin hard pavement at speed is a sound that’ll wake the most deep-sleepin horse. Most horses don’t travel around the County Island beyond walkin speed, or not for long distances. Maybe some will trot or lope through part of the wash for fun, but then they go back to wanderin at a leisurely walk. But on this day, these horses was comin in hot.
They blew past our own li’l corral at a ground-coverin trot, their young riders bouncin and laughin in their saddles. A race was on, for what purpose I couldn’t tell. But likely braggin rights.
They passed our fence along the pavement and clattered into a lope, then a gallop. The horses stretched their necks flat and pinned their ears to make themselves more what’s called aerodynamic, which means damn, the air whizzes past a fast horse even faster. I had to observe, on account of this was the most excitement the County Island had seen in a long time.
They meant to run straight across the road and into the wash without stoppin! At that point, I kinda doubted the girls coulda stopped those steam-rollin steeds, anyhow. Thankfully, no noisy rumbly-cars nor trucks was comin. They was neck ‘n neck for it, when all of a sudden, one of the girls dropped her reins entirely.
She reached up behind her head, with her good horse still runnin on, and lickety-split undid the floppin ponytail of her hair, did it back up in a tight bun, picked up the reins, and rode on. I wanted to see if fixin her bun cost her the race, but they shot outa sight after that, and I never did find out the final results, nor seen ‘em again. I also assume they didn’t fall down and die in the wash, on account of there never was no turkey vultures circlin.
Which reminds me of rabbits.
Buns, as folks call ‘em here, grow like weeds on the County Island, back at the ranch in my day, and likely everywhere. Ain’t nobody fixin these buns.
There’s rabbits bein given cute names now, and also bein hand-fed horse treats special-bought at a special store which is called organic. Us horses don’t even get fed the organic, not that a horse really knows nor cares what organic even is, but if rabbits get it, horses sure should, too, on account of we deserve it. I know I always say a horse should be grateful for what he’s got, but I’m startin to think if a rabbit can take it all away from us with a tiny hop and some tiny soulful eyes, maybe that changes things.
We got a Buddy bun, a Beau bun, and a baby Beanie bun. I wish I didn’t know any of that, but I do.
I know it on account of the rabbits get fed before horses. That’s right, horses come in second place to rabbits now on the County Island. I know they’re fast, but horses is a lot faster and, to be real honest, we could stomp a rabbit in a race if we wanted to. Horses come first. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Likely y’all want to see the rabbits. Well, let me tell ya: They look like rabbits. If ya seen one, ya seen ‘em all. So y’all can imagine ‘em. Buddy came first, and she’s a she. She’s tiny and plays up bein cute. Beau is her beau – I told ya I wished I didn’t know these names – and he’s bigger and also fatter. Beanie is new Buddy’s baby. She’s purty cute, a horse has to admit. But generally they all look like regular rabbits.
Like I said, I’m a horse who likes to follow the rules, but it’s gettin hard in my old age here, and especially when the rules is that rabbits get fed before horses. All I can do about it is nicker louder, though, and stomp my feet around. Stompin accomplishes nothin, but it makes a horse feel good, and also a horse can imagine he’s stompin rabbits, not enough to end ‘em, mind you, but maybe enough to put ‘em back in their rabbit place. Oh, it’s bad behavior, but the bucket gal’s so preoccupied with baby-talkin to her wittle buns and givin them their organic nom-noms, she don’t pay us horses any attention at all. I suppose we ought to be grateful we get fed at all anymore.
I don’t know how this race for the bucket gal’s attention at feedin time will likely end. She’s got a tiny enough attention span as it is. Original Coors thinks maybe we ought to try to “out-cute” the rabbits at feedin time, but me and Coors Light stand in solidarity that we are both cute enough, and also that cute ain’t the point. Bein fed first is. Stay, like the people say, tuned. This race is on, even if the rabbits don’t know it yet.