Back when we lived on Highway 350, in La Junta, we had a long driveway. At least it seemed that way for me. As a 6th or 7th grader I tended to be a little lazy. Who would have guessed that? It was pretty inconvenient for me when Mom and Dad asked/made me do things. So anytime I could argue back (or whine as the case may be), I took the opportunity. This led to some discipline. I liked my Mom’s, she would give me a spanking and BAM! It was over with. Dad was a whole lot more creative with his disciplines. Some had to do with carrying rocks, kind of like in Cool Hand Luke (yes, Boss). All of them involved some form of work! Which leads to this story….
We had been in town most of the day and Cully or I was supposed to have put the horses up so that we could ride later. Being the lazy rascals we were, of course we didn’t do it! So as we got to the top of the drive way (Yes, same driveway we caught on fire in “Flame and His Two Torches), where were the horses…right there! They couldn’t have been at the other end of the pasture, where Dad couldn’t see them…noooo! Danged ol’ things, couldn’t they have helped out just a little? Well we got in trouble, he made us get out of the truck and drive them to the barn.
Me, “All the way up there?”
Dad, “It’s either that or we don’t ride and you guys pack rocks.”
Me, “Yes, Boss…we drive the horses.”
Heck, looking back it probably wasn’t the length of a football field…whiny dad gum kids!
Well, I wasn’t going to walk! So I slipped up on Jereny’s mare, Ruby and easy as pie put my arm around her neck. So while I held her with one arm, I reached down and was trying to work my belt off with the other. Skinny as I was, you wouldn’t think that would have been so hard! Of course, knowing what I now know…this was a wreck waiting to happen.
All of the sudden, something happened and all of the horses took off running! Well, I still wasn’t going to walk. So as she left, with belt in hand, I just swung up on her back! I guess I was thinking I would put the belt on and be able to control her. HA! Have you ever seen a horse stampede? Ten horses is not a big stampede, but when you are sitting on one with no control and the other horses bucking and kicking all around you….well, it seemed like a pretty big deal to me! After running for miles (well, it seemed like that to me), probably was way less than a quarter mile…we finally came to the irrigation ditch. Oh, no! I forgot about that! When we got to the ditch, horses being horses, they all tried to cross on the same trail…at the same time. Ten horses trying to cross the ditch, banging into each, at a dead run…I stopped riding by instinct and started thinking about what could happen. Next thing I know, I’m hanging on the bottom side of her neck…which turned out to be a good thing because she throwed on the brakes. Whump! I hit the ground!
As soon as I hit the ground, I was mad. Now I was smart enough to know I would get in trouble for beating a horse, BUUUUT I thought maybe I could get away with a little fight with Cully. So I blamed him for scaring them! Of course he was ready to fight, but I forgot one important factor. Mom, Dad and Jereny were in the truck and saw the whole thing! So, no relief for being mad and got into trouble for starting a fight. All in all, a bad day at Black Rock!
They told me afterward that I rode her sitting straight up, discussing her heritage the whole way! It was probably a 4-5 minute run (hard to believe that when you are sitting up there in the hurricane deck). How many times can you say “whoa, you #*$%#!” in 4 or 5 minutes? I don’t know, didn’t even know I was saying it out loud….sure thought I was only thinking it! Didn’t get into too much trouble for the language, Mom and Dad were laughing too hard!
Dad still loves to tell about this and they probably laugh just as hard, or harder now, than they did back then!