A couple people-days ago my belly didn’t feel so good. It was durin dinner time, after I’d already licked my bucket clean, and after I’d done finished up my first alfalfa course, but before my grass hay course. I figured I’d lie down for a while beneath the ironwood tree, and kinda take it easy for a spell.
Which I did, from dusk ‘til after dark. And then I thought maybe I’d stretch out on my side for a bit. After I’d been resting comfortably like that for a while, the bucket gal appeared and she brought me some carrots to try, which I ate, but kinda slow on account of my bellyache.
And then I got up, and went to go see about eatin my grass hay. So the bucket gal patted me and left. I don’t know why a person would worry about a horse with a bellyache. But people like to worry about us horses, I reckon.
The grass hay still wasn’t sittin quite right with me, so I went back to lie down in my spot beneath the ironwood tree in the nice, cool dark, when suddenly the barn light got switched on, blindin a horse tryin to have a peaceful rest in the darkness.
The bucket gal appeared again, this time with a whole bunch of cookies. Man, I like cookies. I nickered my thanks, and crunched on all of ‘em with my teeth til they was gone, while I was still lyin down.
Then I closed my eyes and figured I’d shut out the barn light and finish restin my belly.
The bucket gal petted me and talked to me about all manner of things, which was real nice of her. She told me I was a good boy, and such, which I appreciated. But I couldn’t help but ponder how I might appreciate it more if she turned off the light. She told me things that didn’t make sense to a horse, about how she knew some people who’d lost their horses lately, but she didn’t say how they’d got lost, or if they’d been found again. I guess she didn’t want me to get lost, as if I’d ever stray from the County Island.
And then she frowned at her telephone, and she frowned at me. And she frowned at it again. She asked me if I thought maybe I could use a little… some kinda long funny word, sounded like “bana-mean,” if that means anythin? And then I heard the telephone callin’ for the VET LADY! Why in tarnation would she call the vet lady to come see me when I already felt a little bit poorly, but not real poorly, mind ya?! To make me and my belly feel worse?!? Was that the “mean” part of the bana-mean, bein mean to a sick horse and sickin the vet on him?
I had to do somethin’ to stop the vet lady from comin. Drastic times called for drastic measures. So I stood up. And I walked away from the ironwood tree. And I turned back, and I gave the bucket gal a long glance over my shoulder. And then I pooped. And then she stopped the telephone from fetchin the vet lady and any of her bana-meanness.
I went back to eatin’ dinner while the bucket gal brushed me and listened to my belly. Her ear tickles my hide, and it ain’t right, by the way, this listenin to a horse’s belly. She told me how worried she was about how I was before, and worried about how I might be after. People worry too much about before and after. They should just think about what’s now.
She said if I ate and pooped all night, or maybe she didn’t mean ALL night, ‘cause that would be a real, pardon my french, shitload of eatin and poopin, in the mornin she would set to feedin me silly-yum again every day — which County Island people call “psyllium” in their ignorance of just how yummy it is, and how silly and happy it makes a horse’s mouth and his tongue and his belly feel. I love my sugary orangey sweet silly-yum! So her plan sounded alright by me.
What I learned and what I want to tell all the horses on the County Island and everywhere is, if ya want to keep the vet lady far, far away from yourself, and keep your people content, you should keep eatin, drinkin, and poopin. Also, if there’s a time when you don’t normally go lie down, don’t go lie down durin that time for any reason. It seems to set the people off. I got a gut feelin that’s pretty much all a horse ever needs to do to keep his people happy. I can’t promise I’ll get it right all the time, but a horse can try.