If you’re smart for a person — and I reckon most of y’all are, if you’ve been stickin around these parts to peruse my story-blog about the County Island for a while, and heck, even if you ain’t never heard of me nor of it ’til now, you’re likely okay — you’ve figured out what my name is.
For the record, the name’s Whiskey.
What you may not yet know is occasionally, at least if you happen to eavesdrop on what our bucket gal says, my name may also be:
The “’Mino” part of it can get kinda complicated sometimes. Over the years, I heard it take the form of:
And so forth. What a horse such as me fails to understand is the followin.
When I first met the bucket gal and her carrot guy, and when they first met me, almost the very first question they asked of the people that was sellin me was, “What’s his name?”
Like it was a real important thing to know about a horse, straight off. Not, “Does he have a dirty buck in him?” And not even, “Let me first verify he’s got four hooves and a tail.” But, “What’s his name?”
And when the people said I was called Whiskey, they nodded like it was a fine name and a fine sign of bein a fine horse. And I didn’t know fine from a hole in the ground. Far as I’d been raised to know, I was just a ranch horse, like every other ranch horse I ever met. And I’d been called a number of things, none of which particularly stuck, not that I ever cared to notice much.
And the people sellin me said they just decided to call me that when I came in with the other ranch geldins they was tryin to sell, on account of nobody knew who was who beyond what we looked like and which ranch auction we’d maybe come from, and the people who buy a horse always want to know what he’s called. So I reckon it took ‘em all of a second to say, “I dunno, let’s call that one Whiskey.” Y’know, as in, well, why the hell not? We apparently got to call him somethin.
A name don’t matter to a horse like it matters to people. Y’all heard the sayin, “Just don’t call me late for bucket time”? It’s the truth. I suppose it’s kinda nice to know which horse your person is callin for, or which horse they’re talkin about like a horse can’t understand a word of people-talk. Most especially if they’re talkin to the sweet-talkin but evil vet lady about you.
But I don’t understand why they go to all the trouble to give a horse a name, then all the additional trouble to think up other, worse names for the same horse. People are indecisive, this much a horse knows. I mean, I got nicknames for Coors and Coors Light, and those are their nicknames to me, but I got a point to it. It ain’t just Horsey Worsey Poo and such just to hear myself talk.
I could think of a whole lotta nicknames for the bucket gal, if I wanted to, that rhyme with bucket gal. But the first one that comes to mind ain’t polite to say out loud. And it ain’t a real nice thing to call a gal that brings a horse his bucket and who generally means well toward an old retired ranch horse, and who looks after him and provides him with such a life of almost leisure in such a place as the County Island. And so I think I’ll leave it be.