I like to think I’m still a useful horse in my retirement. I try hard to never forget my good ranch manners, and to be kind and helpful to everyone and everyhorse I meet. Well, except maybe not always to Coors or Coors Light, but that’s mainly ‘cause they got to be kept in line sometimes. Even that’s done out of my own kindness, mostly, and to be helpful to maintainin the peace inside our little horse-corral. Every town needs a sheriff, even if the town’s got nothin but one good palomino and a couple of questionable Ayrab horse deputies.
And so when I notice our bucket gal complainin all the time about somethin, if it’s somethin an old ranch horse could maybe help her out with, I like to do it. For instance, lately she’s been ridin Coors and Coors Light in the prancin arena, as she usually does, while I settle into my supper, and whackin herself in the face with some overgrowed palo verde branches that hang over the sides of the prancin space. Every danged time she rides ‘em down along one of the sides she calls the long sides, on account of it’s the sides of the prancin arena that’s the longest, she gets herself hit in the face, or the head, or gets her arm scraped up, or the top of her horse-ridin’ helmet thunked right good.
Which is to say, she ain’t complained yet that I know of, but she’s been doin it for a long, long time now, whackin herself on trees, from deep in the hottest part of the hot time, all the way to now, when we’re gettin ready for the winter-hair growin time. So, for a while, I reckoned she must like hittin herself on palo verde branches, otherwise maybe a horse would think she’d go around ‘em, or cut ‘em down, or, y’know, maybe duck? It’s like she ain’t go no sense at all about ridin through brush. But I know she knows how to ride through brush properly on the trail, so what is it about the people and ridin a horse on the long side when the arena’s got plenty of other sides and places in it to ride in? I reckon it’s a horse-prancin’ thing, ridin on the “rail” on the long side. Which is to say, a nonsensical thing. But I digress.
And then it dawned on me: I could help! And then I wouldn’t have to see it happen no more! Not only do I know how to eat all delicious and savory the palo verde flowers there is durin palo verde blossom bloomin time, I could also trim branches and such. I seen the gardeners that work sometimes around the County Island, cleanin up the people’s yards of weeds and such, and makin their palo verde trees look purty. And I said to myself, a horse could to a better job of that, on account of we got big teeth and strong necks.
And so I decided to start with what I call a practice tree, in order to perfect my tree trimmin technique on it before I tackled the bigger palo verdes along the long sides of the prancin arena. That is to say, I fully intended to get around to trimmin the trees that whack the bucket gal in the face, but I figured maybe I’d start with a smaller ones, and then do ‘em all, one by one, until they was all done good and proper. I got the time. And I was sure that in time a horse could do a right good job, and make the bucket gal happy, and get her to stop whackin herself in the face all the time that I got to look at and get annoyed by, and a horse might as well enjoy eatin the trees while he was at it, and maybe hire on some Ayrab horse day workers, too, to make all the work go quicker…
Turns out, people such as our bucket gal don’t appreciate a horse gardener and all his hard work.
And in my own defense, well… I ain’t done yet.