Somethin strange and terrible, but mostly strange, happened on the County Island, but the main point is, it turned out OK. Generally I try not to tell an endin before tellin a beginnin, but, well, I’m still here. Some of ya might care to know that.
Things weren’t sittin right with me, and I’m a horse that’s generally alright with the world. Maybe I didn’t tell nobody about it for a while. I don’t really recall. But when I did tell the bucket gal loud and clear, by throwin my own self to the ground not once, but twice, and rollin while gruntin like a pig, instead of helpin me out — she told the tiny telephone that lives in her pocket to fetch the sweet-talkin but evil vet lady!
I knew I was in trouble many people-hours into the night, when the vet lady was still there and they’d already tried all kinds of ridiculous things that didn’t work. Her and the bucket gal was starin both at me, at the end of my lead rope, and at the stars and the moon, and one of ‘em, and it don’t matter which one, said, “We should’ve ordered a pizza!” I know what a people-pizza is and I also know there’s nothin it could do to help an old ranch horse with a real bad colicky stomach ache. In fact, I know it gives people colic sometimes, and they eat it anyway. Leave it to people to think about food in times of trouble, Maybe they’re more horse-like than I ever suspected.
No pizza came. That was good. Also, pardon my french, no horse manure came. That wasn’t good. I felt good enough to eat a cookie and was grateful it wasn’t a foul pizza. I pinned my ears at Original Coors ‘cause someone had to. And, finally, they left me for what remained of the night.
The next early mornin, the vet lady was back, doin more things to a horse who already ain’t right. Eventually, the bucket gal led me over to the rollin white horse-box. This was surely no time to take me for a pointless pleasure trail ride, but off we went.
Only we went to a place called a horse “hospital,” but it looked like a regular stall-barn. And it was overrun with a whole herd of sweet-talkin but evil horse ladies. It must be the ranch where they’re all foaled or somethin. And they poked me in the neck, and they tied me to the roof of a horse-stall with a funny lead rope that somehow poured funny water straight into a horse? None of it made sense. And I overheard they was makin pictures of my insides, which is ridiculous on account of their picture-taker was on the outside of me, and my insides are on my inside. They seemed real nice for bein evil vet ladies, and they meant well, but, well… They had some doubtful ideas. My stomach still hurt.
The bucket gal seemed real worried. And the carrot guy came, too. Also some other amigos I know showed up to say howdy to me. That was nice and all, but I didn’t like it, or like bein there even though the barn stall had cool air in it in the middle of the hot time, but there wasn’t much I could do about any of it. So I let whatever was gonna happen, happen.
And in spite of bein tied to a water lead rope hung from the ceilin, I started feelin better. Finally someone offered me some food that seemed like maybe I’d like to eat it. All the other food looked like food I might want to eat, but my insides was tellin me I didn’t want it.
After I ate, I pooped.
You ain’t never seen a bunch of people so entirely overjoyed by a horse poopin before. You woulda thought maybe I’d saved the ranch’s whole damned cattle herd from runnin directly off a cliff the way they carried on about one horse poopin. The bucket gal even looked like she might cry.
They kept me a couple more people-days for more of their strange people-reasons. They said they wanted to make sure I knew how to eat and poop, like I ain’t been doin a proper job of it for 29 people-years or at least as long as I can recall.
The best part was when I got to come home. The Coors brothers was even excited to see me. Original Coors said he didn’t even want to eat while I was gone, ‘cause he wanted to keep an eye on the road for me comin back. and I called him a liar, ‘cause he always wants to eat. I got a shower hose-bath, and then I rolled and rolled in the warm, soft sand. And then I loped off for a few steps, to express my happiness at finally bein returned home to where things made more sense, for the County Island, anyway.
Things ain’t entirely normal yet. The bucket gal shoves foul tubes of stuff she calls medicine in my mouth like about three times a day. And my feed’s got some new stuff in it, but it tastes alright, I guess. She’s got more worry lines over her eyes than normal when she looks at me, but I think I feel fine. If I don’t, she ought to know I’ll let her know, even if the prior experience was mighty questionable overall.
I got my own bucket with the half-broke handle on account of I like to shove it around. I got my Ayrab brother horses. I got my warm sand, and my best shady tree. I got hay, even a li’l bit more alfalfa than normal. I got to go for some hand-walks, which is when a horse gets walked like a County Island dog. And I got to go for a couple pointless pleasure rides, with pit stops to graze the crunch beans from my favorite bean tree.
And there’s been no more talk of force-feedin me a pizza. That’s likely the best part.