You ever notice how if you’re a horse and you’re lyin flat out in the sun, havin a siesta, with your legs stuck straight out in the warm sand ‘cause it feels good like that, some person who likes to hear themselves talk can’t help but try and stick their nose and their words into your business? It happens to me a lot.
And I been noticin somethin else here around the County Island for a long while now, in my observations as a ranch-horse-turned-County-Island-pet-pleasure-horse. A horse may be doin somethin that’s entirely normal and logical to his own horse-mind, or entirely logical and normal to the minds of the horse-people that keep us, but other people who ain’t real familiar with horses see it different through their own people-eyes. And if they know a tiny bit about a horse, they seem to cause more trouble than, say, someone who knows a lot about us, or someone who don’t know nothin at all.
For instance, durin the time of the false alarm, the sheriff’s deputy was sure I was dead. And then there was the time a fella was sure I was half-dead from the colic, and he was sure my bucket gal didn’t even care.
It happened durin the time of the road pavin, which is when County Island people, who ain’t got real ranch jobs to do with their own ranch horses, make up jobs for themselves to do for no good reason at all, such as pavin a road. Road pavin, for those who might not know, is when all the people and all the biggest big rumbly-machines dig up all the perfectly good dirt on the ground of which the road was originally made, and then put all the dirt back in the same place, only flatter, and then cover it all up with foul-smellin “pavement,” which makes a funny sound when horses walk upon it, and which allows the people-cars to gallop past our corral faster than they should on the County Island. Oh, and they also move more dirt around to try to “re-route” the washes, which is the dry creek beds that run fast with water when it floods, as if a person could control where the water wants to flow! Ya ever hear the expression, when it rains, it pours? It’s like that around here. Such as happened this one time. But I digress.
Every day, the road workers would “work” on the road pavin. And every day, I’d drop down in the sand for my customary sun siesta, and stay there snoozin, sometimes for hours, maybe twitchin a leg to kick some sand onto my belly once in a while, or lettin out a long, low groan of pure horse happiness.
I’d hear the workers discussin my “colic” periodically throughout my naptime. And they’d come to the fence and clap at me, and try to get my attention. I’d just squeeze my eyes shut tighter. One time, they tossed pebbles at me to try to get me up. That was pure rudeness, so I grunted and stretched out with my legs as far out as I could stick ‘em, and refused to budge from my nap.
And then one day, our bucket gal got home while they was still workin, and one of the fellas said to her matter-of-factly, “Did you know your horse is colicing?” Of course, I was still lyin there flat-out at the time.
I heard the bucket gal kinda laugh say, “Oh, no, he actually likes to sleep like that. But I appreciate your concern.”
“Well, horses only lie down when they’re sick, so we thought you should know,” the fella said with authority.
“That’s actually not true, even though a lot of people think it is,” said the bucket gal, by way of friendly, sincere conversation, and, as she started to turn to walk away, “Thank you for caring, though!”
“Well, we’ve been watching the yellow horse, and he lies down and groans every day, and sticks his legs out like he’s in pain. Horses do that when they have stomach pains, like colic, so you should call your vet for him,” insisted the fella. And I thought to myself with a tiny snort, yellow horse! Palo verde flowers is yellow. Horses is palomino.
“Thanks, but trust me, he’s fine!” the bucket gal called back, now some distance from him, as I could see through my partially open eyes.
“OK, but I’d call a vet if I was you!” the fella called back as he got into his rumbly-truck to drive away.
“OK, thanks!” the bucket gal waved, and watched him drive off.
And then she stood in front of me, castin a shadow across my sunshine, with her hands on her hips.
“Whiskey,” she said, kinda stern-like, as if I’d done somethin wrong or somethin. “Come on, get up!”
I did, but with an enormous grunt of annoyedness.
Do y’all know how many years I worked and wished I could lie around all day and take as many naps as I damned, pardon my french, well pleased? I ain’t gonna stop livin the ranch horse dream on account of any ignoramus that don’t know a dead horse from a sleepin one! The County Island people will think whatever they want to. Seems like no facts is gonna change their opinion of my slumberin situation.
I would say the moral of this story’s to go lie down for your nap someplace away from view of the road and the pryin eyes of people, but I’ve also learned the hard way that if you decide to go lie down somewhere where ya normally don’t — for instance, in the tiny shady spot between the big tree and the fence rail, where the ground’s soft and fluffy and cool, and stick your legs out the bottom of the fence — your bucket gal will nearly have herself a cow, and also people may stop their cars and try to move ya ‘cause you’re “cast” even though you clearly ain’t.
So, pretty much, what I’ve learned is since a horse can’t win, you should always nap wherever and whenever you please. Y’all know I’m a horse who tries hard to live by my own thoughts, and that’s a thought I do intend to sleep on.