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Kountry Life Memories

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That Damn Horse
I never was a 'girly-girl' like all my friends were. I grew up following my Paw-Paw around everywhere, and he let me, too. He took me hunting and fishing and riding around in his truck looking for more hunting and fishing spots. And in Louisiana, there are a lot of them to be found. Like I said, I don't recall playing with baby dolls or barbie dolls. I remember making mud pies, then throwing at whoever was coming my way. It was funny sometimes, sometimes not. I remember catching 'mudbugs' - crawfish - in the ditches around the town we lived in. And I remember playing 'town' with my toy trucks and dozers. But no girl stuff. No purses or lip gloss, uh-uh, not for me. Paw-Paw bought my first horse when I was six. My very own, although my Daddy had horses since before I was born, and practically raised me on them. I've been told of riding a horse that no one else could at about two years old... because I fed him biscuits through the screen door. Meaner than a rattlesnake to any grown person, this horse would 'tiptoe' around mud puddles for the baby on his back. Well, by the time I was seven, I could catch and saddle my horse by myself. Either Paw-Paw or Daddy had to tighten the girt for me, because I wasn't strong enough, but I was expected to do that if I wanted to ride. And I loved it! My very own horse, a beautiful roan mare with a black mane and tale. I named her Sundown. When we all went riding together, all my great-uncles and uncles and all the male members of the family had horses, but the women didn't, so I was the only girl that got to go. The men always claimed there wasn't enough, so the women got left behind. Not me. I went with Paw-Paw. Paw-Paw eventually bought his own horse, about a year after he bought Sundown for me. They looked exactly alike, and I remember the day he brought Star, his horse, home and put him in the fence with Sundown. I had just come in from school, and it was picture day, so naturally, being a girl, I had been forced to wear a dress. Yuk! I was still in my dress when I went outside and climbed through the fence to go pet my horse. I walked all around the 'new' horse, because I knew better than to walk directly behind a horse that didn't know you. I'd seen what happened too many times when somebody thought they knew what they were doing with a horse. As soon as I got around the 'new' horse, I went right up behind my horse. She knew me, so for me to walk right under her tail between her back legs was nothing, I did it all the time. Only this wasn't Sundown. I had gotten them mixed up, and walked right behind Star, the new horse. Before I knew anything had happened, I had been kicked, and I flew into the bottom strand of bobwire that made the fences. I remember opening my eyes, and shaking my head. I got myself up and walked into the house where my grandparents were. They didn't even know I was with the horses until I came in with my dress torn to tatters, barely hanging on my skinny little frame. Maw-Maw screamed like a banshee. 'Oh my God, baby, what has happened to you?' I looked up at my grandmother and said, 'That damn horse kicked me.' That's when Paw-Paw laughed harder than I ever heard him laugh again, and I knew then that everything would be okay.

Submitted By: K.Thompson from LA on 2005-08-27

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