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Black eye, glistening with a hint of anger, fear, and sadness. Staring into me with either the intent to kill or the need for help. I gamble. One step. Two steps. Slowly, for the 18th time trying not to anger him. Long, white legs, muscles bulging, able, with a single kick, to remove my head or damage it so badly you wouldn’t recognize it. He turns, I step back. Here I go again. Rinse and repeat, like I did 20 minutes earlier in my nice, hot, relaxing shower. Oh I wish I could be back there, instead of trying hopelessly to capture the devil, the beast, a man, my horse Colby.
20 minutes earlier…
A knock on the door interrupts my thoughts of the new gorgeous guy who has just recently added me on Facebook. I’m not getting the door. I tell myself. Hair still wet, sitting comfortably in my plush bath robe, on Facebook checking my notifications and changing my status to something like “Had a great day ?”. Today is my lazy day, who would want to answer the door looking like ‘today is my lazy day’? I think nobody!
“Seth! Get the door!”
Seth, my brother, rolls his practiced lazy butt off the couch trudging his way through the house, giving me a familiar nasty look and calling me a ‘friendly’ name or three. This is how it should be, me, the elder, telling the youngling what and when to do it. It’s nice to know I still have that affect on him.
My Facebook thoughts were soon interrupted again by a continuous booming sound in the back of my head. Am I going crazy? Nope, sure enough Seth comes panting into the computer room, almost unable to remember how to breathe. Unfortunately, he gets out the few words I have been dreading to hear, “Horses…. Out….!”
That’s when I took off. Rounding the corner, through the door, across the house into my room. Combine must have hit the fence. How bad could it be? Dead horse? Running through the corn? Caught in fence? I threw on some neon yellow socks figuring it was all dry and it wouldn’t be that bad. In my robe, soccer sweats, and socks, I fly out the door realizing its one of the darkest nights this fall. The only light I see is that of the small tractor with his lights like a spotlight on my horse, Colby.
I groan, “Why him?” That stubborn mule and I don’t have a very good track record.
Running out to the field, I try to plan a strategy. Should I ask the boys for help? No. Should I corner him and try to grab his mane? Way too dangerous! Just wing it. That being my first mistake.
I arrive at the gate, unlatch it, take that first blind step into nothingness. Mud. My foot sinks ankle deep with no intent of stopping. Again I let out an ugly, monstrous groan, realizing shoes were a must. I take off towards the house to put on proper clothing, probably looking real stupid half jumping the whole way, trying not put my muddy foot down on the ground.
Now I bet you’re wondering where my brother is in all this. Well, ever since he was born, he has despised our horses, not because he didn’t like them or anything normal like that. Oh no, he is scared! A 170 pound boy, who’s got 50 pounds on little old me, is scared , no, petrified of horses. I don’t know why, I mean he was never bucked off or stepped on or even bit, but whenever my mother and I go riding, it takes extra time to saddle the horses because he won’t hold them. So, of course my brother is out there with me now but about 200 yards away, calling my mother telling her the unfortunate news.
After changing into jeans and flip-flops, losing the robe, I go back out. I crawl under the fence into the corn field where the beast is prancing around not knowing what to do. My fears of death and casualty have been washed away with wishing those things have actually ended up happening. Seeing that idiot looking too proud bugged me, until I saw what truly lay deep in those eyes… fear.
Oh I wish I could be back there, instead of trying hopelessly to capture the devil, the beast, a man, my horse Colby.
I take too many steps. He throws his feet at me, running around towards the combine, which has made its loop and is heading back towards us. Luckily I stop him and his fit turning him towards safety. After continuously trying to get close enough to calm him down enough to get a hold of him, I give up.
“Seth! Get grain and a rope.”
Seth runs to the barn and comes out 20 minutes later with what I asked for. Lack of brains and light caused him to take longer than I wanted. When Colby took off again towards the combine, I let him go, knowing he will come back. He wants to acts tough but always comes around when he knows it’s the right thing.
As soon as I get the supplies from Seth, he returns back to his safe area. Figures, leave a man’s job to a woman.
“Colby!” I whistled.
Seeing the oh-so-familiar bucket, he comes back at a much too fast speed, nearly removing the bucket from my hands. Unfortunately for him, I keep hold of it, now I’m in control. It feels nice.
Setting the bucket down startles Colby, again taking off, though the desire for the grain and oats pulls him back without any coaxing needed.
I make a halter out of the lead rope like I have done many times before, carefully slipping it over his nose and ears. Captured! I smile. I force the bucket from his face and start walking toward the tractor and out of the field. Thank God! This should now be easy.
We round the tractor, I look into the seat and meet the gaze of a very amused farm boy, I have so kindly entertained for the last 30 minutes. After giving him a ‘Watch it! I’m not your average 16 year old princess’ glare, I keep walking. Actually tripping. Being pushed around by the idiot on my side.
We pass the cars of the farm boys and suddenly stop. Oh no! Not good. Colby has found another thing to work him up. I don’t know what about the car upset him but my heart started racing. Either I need to keep him moving or have to pay the poor guy for a missing window or dented door. However, Colby drops his sudden phobia and keeps moving, a little faster and cautious but no damage done… to the car.
We enter our yard making our way back to the other horse. A little too fast for my taste.
I stop, he stops, driving his anxious hoof on my unprotected foot. I scream! In so much pain! My foot feels as if the flesh was shredded off with a cheese grader. I know my foot has already swollen and I can feel a bruise coming on. It’s broken! I was literally pulled back to reality by Colby dragging me back to the pen. Limping now for real, I try to keep up.
“Mom says we have to put them in the other pasture,” my most unhelpful brother makes very clear.
“Come hold Colby. I need to get Abby out too.” I test.
He comes slowly, positioning me between himself and the beast. Giving him the rains and a push he is holding the horse, actually holding the rope. I’m so proud! Not! Its about time! I go retrieve Abby the even more stubborn and dominant mare, after plowing through the mud. I harness her and drag her out.
Now walking with both stubborn horses after relieving Seth of his stand in duty, I am dragged towards the other pen. I can tell they want to be around me as much as my foot wants to touch the ground.
I set the beasts free. Latching the gate behind me, I hear a truck pull in. I walk limping towards the front of the house in no mood for visitors.
It’s my mom. “I’m home!!… Whoa, what happened to you?!”