I thought we was done with ‘em for good, but a huntin pack always circles back to where there’s easy prey. And to packs of li’ girls, it seems me, Original Coors and Coors Light is easy prey. We ain’t exactly under constant attack from li’l people-girls, but we got a whole lot more of ‘em to contend with than we ever had before in these here parts. We’ve had three visits thus far, which might be three too many. Seems it’s open season on County Island horses.
The third visit brought back those girls who seemingly twitched and bewitched me with their purty, shiny words. We was eatin dinner, which means Coors and Coors Light was locked up in stall-jail and I was still at liberty so that I might savor my very small portion of alfalfa that I get with my dinner hay in peace. Not that they’d ever dare push me off my own feed. Original Coors especially knows what can happen when when ya incite a bonafide Whiskey rebellion. But they stand nearby and squabble non-stop while I’m attemptin to enjoy my alfalfa in a peaceable way. So we was shovelin hay into our mouths, and the bucket gal was shovelin up the remains of our hay, so to speak, when I sensed girls nearby and suddenly one of ‘em spoke up.
“Hello again!” said the bravest of the two people-girls, holdin the fidgety dog’s lead rope. How’d I miss hearin ‘em approach? How’d me, Coors and Coors Light miss hearin ‘em approach? Are we becomin dead-broke to ‘em? “We just forgot your horses’ names!”
And, I had to wonder, how come they needed to remember ‘em?
“Yeah,” said the more skittish one. “We forgot, so we made names up for them.”
The brave one added, and pointed to each of us with a li’l flourish, “So we called them Autumn!” — Original Coors, who I suppose is sorta autumn leaf colored, pricked his ears like he liked that — “Win-ter!” — said in a dreamy fashion I reckon only a li’l people-girl can muster, and Winter, I mean damned snowy white Coors Light, pricked his damned ears — “and Sunny!”
Sunny laid his own ears flat. I mean my own ears flat. Sunny, my a—
“Do they have a lot of adventures?” asked the first one. And the bucket gal laughed and said, why yes, we do. Little does she know!
She don’t know, does she? I might have some explainin to do otherwise.
Coors gave his brother Coors Light a look out of the corner of his eye through the stall-jail bars where they stood next to one another, and Coors Light returned the same look out of the corner of his own eye through the stall-jail bars to Coors, suggestin that maybe there was Ayrab horse adventures or plans for ‘em I’d best not know about.
I shouldn’t want to know about any Ayrab horse adventures, should I? Bein a good ranch horse means mindin your own business.
I was also halfway expectin the girls to ask to saddle up for a ride on one of us, and I expect our bucket gal was, too. But no such suggestion nor invitation was forthcomin. Which is the way I like it. Mostly. Pony rides for buckaroos is one thing. These potentially pony clubbin bouncy shiny huntin critters is another species entirely. It’s best for a horse to avoid new things.
After the see ya laters was said and done, our bucket gal turned and gave me a real funny look. I was ponderin how I hoped that meant it was a lot more “see ya” as in “and don’t come back,” and a lot less “later.”
“Aww, Sunny, look sunnier! They love you!” she laughed at me, and she walked over to me, and reached out as if to scratch that real good scratchy spot right behind my left ear, but instead she took both her people-hands and stood both my ears up to appraise me like a horse auctioneer. And laughed at me again while holdin my ears upright. I turned and stuck my entire head and neck down into my hay feeder so I could go back to eatin undisturbed. But I could still hear her.
“Hi, Au-tumn! Hi, Win-ter!” she was sing-songin as if she herself was a li’l people-girl still. And smilin. It’s a good thing for people to be happy around us horses, so if girls callin us ridiculous names such as Sunny, Autumn and Winter was makin her happy, a horse ought to roll with it. But my ears was still mostly back while I ate my hay.
I didn’t dare look over to Autumn or Winter to see if they’d wiped the smirks off their own horse-faces yet, lest this turn into Ayrab horse ass-kickin season. Pardon my french. A good ranch horse minds his business, and also knows which battles is his to pick and which ain’t. That’s the truth in any season.