Ya know how when you’re bein told by your person to do somethin that sounds entirely questionable, your person tells you you’re brave horse? And you know you ain’t brave? But your person sounds so very convincin and encouragin that you start to believe her? And then you put the one hoof you reckon maybe you could live without gingerly into the bottomless black hole that she tells you is merely a black rubber “stall mat” on the ground of the barn aisle, and then by god, you start to believe it isn’t a hole in the ground after all, but a real and solid piece of ground, and suddenly you’re a horse who has the ability to hover over black holes in the ground without fallin into ‘em or losin any hooves at all? In general, I mean.
Well, this is exactly like that, only different.
I was busy chewin my mornin hay and our bucket gal was busy scoopin up road apples, when she asked me, “Whiskey, did you lose a tooth?” She held a tiny whitish thing in her hand.
I rolled my tongue around in my mouth, and thought, don’t think so… But she proceeded to ask if I was chewin okay, which I thought I was. Wasn’t I? And then she came over as if to give me a pet, but instead she tried to pry my lips open! So I backed away from her. What was wrong with her, tryin to take the food from my mouth?
So I proceeded to feel my teeth with my tongue again. And she proceeded to frown at me. And then I spit some hay out by accident, and she sighed and hmm’ed. “Poor, poor old Whiskey,” she announced me to be.
After that, I couldn’t seem to stop testin my teeth, all danged day. And at evenin feedin time, she stared at me rollin my tongue over my teeth, kinda obsessive-like, if an old ranch horse can be a might obsessive on occasion, and she hmm’ed some more, then fetched my halter and held me still so she could try to run her hand inside my mouth, which I resented on principle of that’s a rude thing for a person to do to a horse. How’d she like it if I put my hoof in her mouth? And then she started talkin to the tiny telephone that lives in her back pocket and tellin it to call the evil vet lady!
I started talkin right gingerly. I even asked my horse-buddy Coors, as I opened wide, “Does my mouf yook funny to you?” An’ I chewed my hay wif great care. An’ I even ate my bucket-candy slower, an’ rolled mah pellets around in mah mouf to be mindful of where mah missin toof was. Or wasn’t, I reckon.
An’ when the evil vet lady arrived, one second she was sweet tawkin me an’ strokin my neck, and the next second I felt a prick in my neck, and everythin went soft and foggy as it always does. A horse never sees that comin somehow. I was aware of her feelin around inside mah mouf, and then shinin a little light to look in it, and then finally, laughin. I think she also poked needles into my bad hawks while she was at it.
“It’s not his tooth,” the vet lady said, soundin puzzled.
Then they examined Coors Light’s teeth, while he gave me the stink-eye, like his predicament was all my fault.
“Huh, not him!” the vet lady exclaimed.
Then the vet lady stuck her hand inside Original Coors’ mouth, too, and shined her tiny light upon his teeth, and he gave me an identical stink-eye, on account of he and Coors Light are brothers and make the same stink-eye.
“Nope!” she announced. “Nobody here lost a tooth. But that’s definitely a horse tooth.”
And the vet lady and the bucket gal couldn’t stop laughin, as if findin a lost horse tooth was a funny thing.
So I set to ponderin, then where’s the rest of the horse?
Original Coors’ eyes got real big, and he said softly, “If the tooth was in the ground, then maybe the rest of the horse is in the ground, too.” And I thought, that’s ridiculous, but it could likely make a good spooky tale to tell the Coors Brothers some dark and moonless County Island night.
There ain’t no horses here but us, and it ain’t like a horse goes around losin his own tooth and spittin it out into our own horse-corral, or like any other critters upon the County Island would come across such a thing as a lost horse tooth and regard it as a tiny treasure to be carried back to its own critter-hole and maybe drop it along the way if it got distracted by another shiny object… Oh, wait. I may have just described a “pet peeve,” which is also called a packrat. But still.
I reckon what happened is the bucket gal herself lost a tooth, and on account of bein embarrassed of it, tried to pin it on an unsuspectin horse. She loses lots of things, after all, on a regular basis – people-sunglasses, her people-barn keys, our bucket mixin spoons…
And, that’s the whole and entire tooth as I know it.