I absolutely love reading a story where I can hear the dialect of the storyteller through
Flyin'Horse brought us a brand new fresh approach to a good horse story. - Mugs
Have you ever had one of those kinds of colds that make your head feel like
you’re underwater and you can actually hear the roar of the ocean in
The kind of cold where you really have to marvel at the amount of pure
snot that any one human body can produce. You’re sort of swimming inside
your own head. But, and here’s the big thing, have you ever blown
your nose so hard that something actually spurts out of your eye??
Believe me it’s as weird as it sounds. It is a pretty complicated duct system up in there though. It’s like a projectile tear is what it is.
Anyway that’s the kind of cold I was getting over on the day when
me and my horse Molly found the dead body. Well a skeleton-y body,
in a narrow wash in the hills on the east side of the valley where I live.
I say “my” horse Molly because I always do but she really belongs to my
step-granddaughters who live out of state. Their dad thought they needed a
horse to call their own when they come to visit. That’s sure not very often
and it turns out they prefer quads to horses anyway. But that’s a whole
other story. Anyway I’m happy to have little Molly here with me and
I try to take her out for a spin as much as I can even though she’s not my main riding horse. She’s a barely 14hh Spotted Saddle Horse with two dark
crackly blue eyes outlined in black eyeliner. Very dramatic! She’s built like a
small tank so I don’t feel too badly asking her to carry my 6’ self and I got
over feeling foolish on her when I found out what a kick she is to ride.
When she gaits it’s like riding a wind-up horse and it just makes me laugh.
Her little head gets to bobbin’ and her fat furry little ears are always perked
ahead and she’s says ok where are we goin’ now and what are we goin’ to
do next! I love that kind of attitude in a trail horse. So far I haven’t found
anyplace she won’t go although she will offer an opinion at times. But I like
that in a horse too. Opinions. Sometimes they’re right.
Anyway there we were bobbin’ along through this narrow-ish wash with
out a care in the world heading for home.
We came around a little bend and bam! Some animal or other had been
digging at the edge of the wash where it met the bank and spewed out a
bunch of rocks and dirt into our path. Pretty big rocks too.
Caught my eye for sure and I’m saying to Molly what on earth could have
dug all that stuff out into the wash and why? She wasn’t the least bit
interested as she was feeling pretty purposeful about getting home. Then
I saw the reason for the digging. Part of a ribcage was sticking up out of
the dirt and some kind of fabric was smushed up around it. I don’t know
why I kept going but I did. Maybe because you see bones out there sometimes. Deer or what have you. We got about 50’ past and I told Molly sorry girl
but we gotta go back and check that out again. She did offer a brief opinion
The fabric was actually part of a shirt. Had a tag on it, size L. There were
buttons and button holes and a cuff and what looked like a knitted scarf all
balled up and sticky looking. I sort of came to and realized there were actual
flies buzzing around on it and it was February and some kind of god-awful
smell was making it’s way through my clogged ducts.
The authorities were summoned. I still hoped that it was somebody’s big
family dog that they just happened to dress up in men’s clothing before they
buried it. I know, pretty silly. But I was worried the cops had come out
there for nothing. Then I was worried they’d come out there for something.
Two detectives, a couple of pokes with a stick and part of the pelvis was
exposed, a few more pokes and there was the spine. The remains were
declared to be human. Fully intact in a shallow grave as it turns out.
That night at home hubby and I hypothesized and wondered and speculated.
We joked; Ribs for dinner tonight, dear? Yes but perhaps a bit more meat
on them this time please! We googled human decomposition rates, we
googled missing persons, we speculated some more.
We were dumbfounded. Practically in our backyard! Well ok, across the
valley but in a place I ride all winter long! We had a drink or two to calm
our nerves and toasted To Herman! Yep I named him, guess that means he’s
The porkchop on my plate looked disgusting. Later on. Just me. The morbid thoughts, the awfulness of it all. Does anybody miss him, will anybody
be sad? Or worse, what if nobody has missed him, what if nobody is sad?
Is life really so cheap and meaningless? What were his last minutes like?
Why did I find him, is there some cosmic reason that I chose to take
Miss Molly on a ride on that particular day in that particular wash ? Or is everything just random like my jaded self tends to think? I mean come on,
what’s it really all about Alfie? The ocean roars, the waves pound.
I’m swimming inside my head. I blow my nose hard and something spurts
out of my eye. It’s like a projectile tear is what it is.