Saturday, May 30, 2009

My African Safari

Today I went on Safari. Brita and I were trotting along the road, minding our own business, when suddenly, up ahead, I saw a herd of wild beasts. Naturally I stopped to assess the situation. When I did, the beasts noticed me. I didn't think it would be wise to get too close to them. They looked angry, and very territorial.

I tried to communicate my reservations to my rider, but she laughed at me and told me those were just "Cows". B---S---. I know what "cows" are. They are two whooly headed red critters eating tamely out of buckets outside my window. Their names are Carl and Duke.

These were not "cows". These were a large herd of black and white, head tossing, snot blowing wildebeasts somehow transported from the African Veldt or somewhere just as dangerous.
But, Brita insisted, and I have learned to do what she says, so after about five minutes of arguing and stomping, and a little snorting, I decided to give it a try. I took the bit in my teeth, and made a run for it. I started out trotting, but when I got closer to the Wildebeasts, they jumped up and I'm quite sure, began to charge. I decided to save both our hides and threw it into high gear. I mean I made tracks! Feets don't fail me now!
Brita says it was the fastest furlong in Saddlebred history. When we had gotten past the "cows" and I had hit top speed, I hear Brita's voice faintly, in a distance, say "Take it easy you fool, you're going to slip and kill us both." So I did my best to regain my composure, and pulled back up to a trot. I felt so relieved to have made it through alive that I started snorting and whistling just to relieve some tension.
We had a nice ride after that, but we still had the return trip to consider. We rounded the turn, and there in the distance, was the whole herd waiting for me. In fact, I think they had gathered a larger number to defend their border. Having successfully made it through dangerous territory once, I hesitated to risk my neck a second time. As I got closer, my feet began to drag. I admit, I wavered. I know I was supposed to trot bravely past, but I also know that my reaction the first time didn't sit very well with "the management". Brita let me stop and stand in a field to see if I could get used to looking at "cows". It didn't work. I made myself real tall, and blew and whistled, and tried to scare them away, but they just stared dumbly at me. Clearly they weren't happy about me being in their country. We tried for awhile to make me brave again, but in the end, Brita got out some funny gadget, and while trying to calm me with one hand, and muttering through her teeth "stand still dammit" she made some beeping noises and started talking to herself.
Pretty soon, Mom showed up. She brought me grain and tried to calm me down and talk some sense into me. Together they tried to lead me forward, but I jumped around so much that she finally gave up and left. Pretty soon she was back with Uncle Dad and that darn pokey thing. They took my saddle off, and poked me in the neck. They said that should make me feel better, but it really didn't. It just made me a little sleepy. Not what you want when you are trying to defend yourself from a herd of Wildebeasts. What did make me feel better was when Uncle Dad went and chased the "cows". As expected, they stampeded. I knew that was the danger all along. I could just imagine myself being swept under all those hard pointed feet, and smooshed into little pieces.
They stayed away while Mom and Brita walked me carefully out of their country. We were still a long way from home so my saddle was found and reinstalled and Brita and I rode home slowly. I was still a little jumpy from my ordeal, and a couple of times I was sure I could see a Wildebeast staring at me from the shadows, and I arched my neck and hurried up. We made it home without incident though. I am hoping I never ever see a herd of "cows" ever again.

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