Saturday, February 23, 2008

Death Pony

Growing up I played the part of "boy" real well. By that I mean that I engrossed myself with every single aspect of life that a boy finds interesting and wallowed in it. Accordingly, my mother and grandma (who shared about equal time with raising me) were saints.

You hear a lot today about parents doing this or that to keep their kids safe and sound and to make sure they don't get scuffed or their feelings hurt or any other of a myriad of life circumstances, and keeping a wide berth of protection around them. Mom and Grandma just kept plenty of Bandaids, rubbing alcohol, and Mercurochrome around, read the bible, prayed alot and when all that failed... just hoped for the best.

One of my boyhood pals was Doug. Doug was small for his age and I was big so we looked like a real pair when we were together, and all summer long we were together. His grandparents lived just down the road from us.

Doug had a Shetland pony named Flicka that was the most miserable piece of horseflesh that ever tumbled down the pike. The most ill tempered, hateful, spiteful flea bitten creature that God ever threw hooves on and gave Disneyland eyes to. If you walked behind this pony, there was a 100 percent chance that you were gonna get kicked. Pause for a second in front of it and it was gonna lay pony teeth to the back of your arm. And heaven forbid, get on top of it... 'cause it was just a matter of time before you were removed involuntarily from that position.

Flicka had 2 speeds. One was about double time for a snail and the other speed was "Oh My God!" When that ol' pony went into OMG mode, it was just a hang on for the ride. Scream a Hail Mary if you were Catholic or cuss like a madman if you were a Baptist. She'd purposely head for a low hanging limb and wipe you right off her back, or she'd go from twice the speed of light to feet locked up causing you to go off the front end onto the ground and then the psycho pony would bite you, as if to just finish you off.

When we were about 9 or 10, Doug and I had decided that we needed to hitch Flicka up to my Radio Flyer wagon. Having no knowledge whatsover in how to properly hook a pony up to anything, we of course just winged it. We tied up the finest hitch you ever saw in your life out of nothing more than a bunch of binder twine and a little bit of cotton rope. Next was inevitable fight about who gets to ride the pony and who gets to ride in the wagon and I think I made Doug cry and felt sorry for him so he got the first ride in the wagon.

This was also the only ride in the wagon.

We got her out in the road and tied everything all up, Doug got in the old metal wagon, I hopped on the back of Flicka and gave her a kick in the flanks and she went straight into OMG mode. We hurtled down the road to the old Store where all the bider twine started getting tangled up around her back feet and that wagon kept getting closer. I think that old pony thought Satan was gaining on her cause she just ran faster and whipping her butt end around every other step. Steering with the reins was a moot point... she was on auto pilot and there was a storm brewing captain.

When we got to the store, she cut left hard the wagon shot right, she caught it with a high flying hoof and propelled Doug ass over heels into the wall of the store, about 5 foot up. I bailed off and Flicka continued on with her battle with the wagon from hell, now up to her back feet and sounding like someone beating a washtub in the distance. I went over to Doug and he was just piled up in an oddly arranged pile of boy against the store building... motionless.

I had never seen a real live dead human being in my wee years and having watched a lot of TV, Doug looked just like someone blowed to kingdom come with a box of dynamite on Gunsmoke.

I panicked.

I ran down to his Grandma's house and went burning right in and I guess I looked pretty wild. She wanted to know if something was the matter. I stood there for a minute and said. "I think Doug's dead".

If there are words that'll get a grandma into high gear in 2 seconds, those are the ones. We ran up to the store, I think she actually outran me, and when we got there Doug was sitting up, very undead like. See, I'd never seen anyone with the wind knocked out of 'em before. She fanned him a little bit with her apron and off in the distance you could hear Flicka and the wagon, still going at it. His Grandma wanted to know what that noise was and I told her it was Doug's pony beating up my wagon and she said it'd probably be a good thing to go get the wagon while there was still something left of it.

I'm sure we got cookies and pop... we always did.


Su Bee said...

OMG - I think I just actually laughed my ass off --- yep, it's gone! I once had a nasty devil spawned red-headed mare that I had a very similar scene with, so I can see you two kids and that rotten pony PERFECTLY!!!!
BTW -- back a few posts --- I have one BLM donkey, and I would take 20 more; that herd looks just right!

Bon said...

I'm surprised that you ever made it to adulthood. LOL

Darla said...

I agree with Bon! lol God Surely does love you Jace! I think I laughed my butt off too!


Sandra said...

This is uncanny - I actually have a framed picture drawn by a local artist showing two young boys with their wagon hitched to a paint pony. Only difference is that they have a sling shot aimed at the pony's rear! This seems to be a common thought that runs through the minds of young farm boys!

gracie said...

I wish kids today knew how to play like that.......well maybe not exactly like that.... but w/some creativity and ingenuity and a let's-go-outside-and-think-up-stuff-to-do attitude.

Vicky said...

Well, laughed and laughed -- tried to laugh my butt off, but it didn't work! :(

Poor Grandma! I'll bet every time you came tearing into the house, it was a heart-stopping moment for her! LOL

Jerry said...

Yep, stories like that make it well worth coming here, Jace. My horse (I was 16) was named Sadist. 'Nuff sed. Rode another one when I was 40 - that beast had a habit of rubbing a rider against fences and trees and finally a wood pile - I just stepped off of her and stood there on the wood pile glad to be rid of the nag.

I love these nostalgia rides. Keep 'em coming!

tracey said...

this is still one of our (my girls and i) favorite stories of yours. "uncle satan's pony flesh" is how you term it before, i believe. it's a phrase we use ...quite often anymore! :o)