Monday, October 27, 2008

Getting Lucky In Kentucky Pt. 2

Yup, that's a horse in Randi's front yard. No, on the left side.

Well, that's what happens when you go on vacation. You get no time to blog, which maybe is the point of going on vacation anyway.

So I promised an actual discussion of what happened on our week and a half excursion to the Bluegrass State. The last entry, of course, ended as soon as we'd landed.

Well, it was a trip that had a lot of diverse happenings in it. We stayed with Randi's mother, who is a kind and lovely woman. She hadn't seen Stella since the little one was two weeks old, so this was a great opportunity for her to reconnect with her newest grandchild. They quickly hit it off like peanut butter and jelly, which was gratifying to see.

Kentucky itself was and is a gorgeous state, out there in the real America, as we New Yorkers tend to think of places that are not like where we are.

But it's different, life out there. For example, one morning we were hanging out in Randi's living room, which is across the street from a farm. The farm has a horse, which only makes sense in a place that is so known for it's equine life. Soon, though, Randi saw another horse, a stray, cozying up to the horse behind the fence. This horse was quite literally on the loose. It had a blue halter on its face, but otherwise there were no markings on it to say whom it belonged to. Unlike cats and dogs horses don't have tags, mainly because they usually don't get loose.

Randi quickly went out to greet the horse with some carrots, which the animal devoured. Then she poured it some water, which it drank down with great vigor. I was scared for her, as horses of course are large animals, and potentially dangerous, but this animal seemed gentle, and used to people.

Eventually we switched positions, while Randi held Stella. At this point we'd called the local police about a half hour before, and we awaited their arrival. We had no idea what to do with the animal. We'd considered trying to get it into Randi's fenced off back yard, but I lacked the confidence to grab the bridle. Instead I gently tried to lead the horse back to Randi's yard, and waved down passing cars, so that they would slow down, and not run over the large, brown, almost impossible to miss animal in front of them. Often the drivers would stop and ask me, "hey, is that your horse?" which seemed then, and still seems now, like a kind of dumb question.

Eventually I worked up enough courage to walk up to the horse and stroke it's long neck. It would then nuzzle me, or simply stand still and allow me to take care of it. Once, while I was stroking it thus, it took a massive dump in Randi's yard, followed by a mighty stream of dark yellow horse pee. A souvenir, I guess.

The horse would also walk up to the penned horse across the street from Randi's yard, and would nuzzle it, or at least get close to it. Randi told me that this horse was named Shotgun, although this wasn't it's real name. I didn't realize horses could have aliases. In reality, I later learned, this horse was actually named Bulls Eye. But since I learned its false name first I came to think of it as Shotgun/Bulls Eye.

Anyway, S/B is an older animal, with a massive tumor on the side of it's old, massive head. The tumor is raw, and actively bleeding. I combined that pain with the fact that it lived on a nice, large pasture all by itself, and I imagine the older horse must've been quite lonely.

After an hour and a half or so the police did finally show up. What could've taken so long I can't imagine, but when the law did arrive I was not impressed. Instead of animal control, what showed up was one young cop, probably in his early 20s, and that's it. No pen to load the horse into, and no real plan about what to do with it.

"I bet this doesn't happen to you every day," I said to the officer. Although I thought better of this statement a moment later. Maybe in Kentucky this kind of thing does happen every day.

"No, sir, it does not," he said, trying to assess the situation. Despite the officers young years it was nice to have him there. He could at least do something about the situation. I could only talk to the horse in low, pleasant tones and hope he would not run away.

Soon Randi's family member Jimmy Skaggs came out, and he and the officer grabbed either end of the horse's bridle and walked him to a field, closed off by a gate. The horse, now spooked, busted through the gate, and ran into the street. Soon, though, they regained control of it, and figured out a plan B.

The plan, such as it was, was to take the horse and drop him the pasture that held the other horse. It didn't matter that it wasn't the neighbor's animal. All that mattered was that this presented an end to the problem, at least for now.

After finding a gate the new horse was let inside. The plan was to find the owner, somehow. But this wasn't necessarily a happy ending. The horse's tail was all matted and it had been so thirsty when Randi found it that it drank down multiple large bowls of water. Obviously it had been treated fairly harshly. Maybe, we thought, it ran away from home.

But there was nothing else to do. So, problem solved I parted ways with Jimmy and the cop and went back to Randi's mother's house. The next morning we saw the two horses running and playing together, gambolling you could say. For all the world they both looked happy to be with one another, even old Shotgun/Bulls Eye could be seen running around, tumor and all.

By the next morning, though, the new horse was already gone, claimed by someone, I don't know who. I hope it went to a good home, or if it went back to its same old home that it will get treated better.


Holly said...

Thanks for the interesting story! I hope the horse is being treated well, too. I used to ride back when I was a kid, and I know Kentucky is great horse country. I've never been there, though. Hopefully some day!

David Serchuk said...

Hi Holly,
Good to hear from you, as always. I will post some photos of the rogue horse, although Randi already posted one on her blog. It was quite the unusual day, I can assure you! And, yeah, it was and is gorgeous horse country in Kentucky. It's a great state, and one of America's least heralded gems.