There’s an old cowboy sayin about leadin a horse to water but lackin the ability to make that horse drink. And it’s true. A person can persuade a horse do a lot of things that may go against a horse’s better judgment, like, well, this, but a good horse has got to draw the line at matters of practicality. For instance, like the sayin says, if ya ain’t thirsty, ya ain’t thirsty. It’s practical.
And also, if ya don’t like bein kissed upon your nose, ya ain’t gonna be kissed upon your nose. There’s nothin practical about nose-kissin a horse, just like there ain’t nothin practical, nor enforceable, about makin a horse that ain’t thirsty drink.
I don’t know why the people of the County Island, and in particular the womenfolk, persist in cooin and baby-talkin at us horses like we was all tiny wobbly colts that ain’t learned proper English yet. I been listenin to English my entire life, and I got it down pat by now, as y’all may have noticed. And cooin at horses generally leads to nose-kissin or the attempt there at. And that ain’t right.
But there’s a lot that ain’t right around here. Oh, there ain’t nothin particularly wrong, neither. Don’t get me wrong. The County Island’s a kinda wondrous place to an old ranch horse like me. It’s filled with so many amazin delights, such as bucket times, and long, lazy days for sun naps, and cookies just for horses, and carrots, and such.
But, lately, we also got people walking tiny miniaturized horses down the road like they was dogs, and whole herds of tiny packrat-sized dogs pullin people down the road like they was a tiny miniaturized draft horse hitch made of dogs, and lots of cooin and baby-talkin at the tiny horses and tiny dogs. And kissin at ‘em, too.
Maybe it’s the heat. The hot time’s upon us now, and it does make people do strange things. Maybe it renders ‘em unable to tell the difference between a horse and a dog, and more prone to babble and coo instead of talkin proper?
I don’t know what made them tiny horses turn so tiny, and for that reason, I got to turn a slightly suspicious eye in their direction whenever they’re bein walked by our horse-corral, all tiny and tappy-tappy with them little bitty hooves down the pavement, but tryin to swagger like they was still big-sized, and wearin tiny shrunk-down halters and lead ropes. There’s one that even wears a tiny little tail bag and tiny little bell boots. That’s one downright prancified tiny horse, and he’s the one that gets cooed over and kissed at the most. I don’t see no practical use for a tiny horse like that. Hell, a western saddle’s bigger than he is, practically.
The pack of tiny packrat dogs take their person for a walk all around the County Island most mornins. There’s six of ‘em, all haulin as hard as they can against their tiny packrat-dog lines, like a miniaturized mule team of packrat dogs throwin all their might against the harness, while their person gets pulled slowly along behind ‘em. Those are some funny little dogs, scramblin as fast as they can and hardly gettin nowhere.
But tiny dogs ain’t proper ranch dogs, although since the County Island’s got no proper ranches to speak of, I guess there ain’t no need for proper dogs no more, neither. And I thought Lisa the bad beagle and our other bad beagle dogs here were bad enough. The more a person coos at the tiny dogs, the more they set to scramblin and gettin their lines all tangled up, interferin with their work of haulin their person down the road.
I suppose I’ll wait til the end of the hot time to see if my better judgment about cooin and tiny dog/horse confusion and such is related to the heat or not. And in the meantime, there ain’t much point in wishin for the end of the hot time, or for the end of the tiny horses and tiny dogs, ‘cause the hot time will end when it ends, as it always does. And the tiny horses and tiny dogs will likely be around here for as long as they are. And the County Island will continue to confound a horse for as long as it does, too. That’s a practical fact, and I am, as y’all know by now, nothin if not a practical horse.