A horse has proper horse-ears so he can hear all the things a horse needs to hear, such as the back door of the people-barn bein opened at feedin time. But here on the County Island, a lot of times, that also means I hear a lot of the things a horse don’t need to know about. But it can still be kinda interestin to overhear the kinds of things County Island people think are important enough to talk about, when you’re a mostly retired horse who ain’t got much else his ears need to listen to.
For instance, there was the evenin when I had my head down in my hay, and I heard a stud and a filly, and I use the terms loosely when I ain’t talkin about horses, which I presently ain’t, come ridin down the road on their own good horses.
Studly: “Well, I’ve only got the one bottle…”
Filly: “Should we go back and get more beer?”
Studly: “Well, I’ve only got ONE bottle…” (Said kinda slurred-like, also kinda sad and pitiful-like. Not to judge, just by way of reportin.)
And then they turned their horses around and trotted for home. Because, I reckon, everybody on the County Island knows y’all can’t go for a trail ride right before dark with only one bottle of beer between ya?
But maybe they was thinkin of their good horses. If they’re anythin like me, their horses like to enjoy a good beer from time to time. Not that the bucket gal and her carrot guy give me any beer anymore – not since that one time they did so in order to verify how much I like the stuff. Would it kill ’em to split a cerveza with me, maybe sometimes? But a horse digresses, as a horse often does.
A few more bites of my own hay later, Studly and Filly came ridin back past our corral, presumably with a proper six-pack. Lopin. “Come on, we’ve gotta make some time!” said Studly. Make time for what, I wondered. Maybe drinkin more beer? Poppin a top for their trusty steeds? I woulda tried to ask the horses if they was gonna get any of that beer, but they was movin too fast and concentratin too seriously on their important jobs of carryin a couple questionable beer-drinkin cowpokes safely down the street in the near-dark.
And then Studly stopped to let his horse eat some of our tree! “You can have some of this. This looks pretty sloppy!” he said to his horse. Well, hey now. A horse could take offense to that. Me and Original Coors and Coors Light kinda take pride in our tree-trimmin horse-landscapin skills. And then they loped off again into the deepenin darkness.
Studly never saw it, but I pinned my ears at him, from deep down in the feeder box where they was near-buried in my hay. It ain’t nice for a horse to pin his ears — mostly — but it also ain’t nice for a fella to talk trash about our tree nor to have more concern for his cans of brew than for gettin his horses safely down the road before dark.