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A Road Apple of Wisdom


Charilette Rai Sweeney

I went out to the pasture to feed my horses one winter day accompanied by my teenage son, Jesse, and a tall, lanky neighbor boy named Zack. Zack asked if he could give the horses the grain buckets and I agreed, handing him the first one. Zack ducked under the fence and walked confidently out across the pasture in the direction of the horses.

My Quarter Horse stallion, Poco Bueno Dun Loho (whom I lovingly refer to as “Fuzz Butt”), was the first of the horses to see Zack coming with the grain bucket and took off towards him at a trot. The other horses looked up from their grazing one at a time before
collectively forming a stampede across the creek in a race for the grain.

Zack, who had apparently underestimated the stallion’s enthusiasm to reach the grain first, let out a yelp before spinning on his heel and tearing off toward the pasture fence, screaming like a girl, with a thundering herd of horses in hot pursuit.

The American Quarter Horse gets its name from being the fastest horse in the world in the quarter mile race; a piece of horse trivia that had apparently escaped Zack (which was why my money was on the horse).

I mused aloud as I watched the stallion rapidly close the gap between himself and the terrified teenager, “He’s not gonna drop the bucket, is he?” to the ever stoic Jesse - who idly responded, “Nope.”

Fuzz Butt placed his nose in the small of Zack’s back and raised his head, flipping the boy and the bucket about eight feet in the air. The bucket fell to the ground spilling grain everywhere, and Zack flipped over backwards and landed flat on his back on the
ground behind the stallion. Jesse and I ran to where Zack laid, chest heaving, gasping for breath... and laughing so hard he couldn’t make any noise.

I learned a valuable lesson from Zack’s horse mugging which I endeavor to employ as frequently as possible: If, even though you are doing your very best, the Universe is still against you, don’t hold onto something to your own detriment... just let it go.

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