Saturday, January 9, 2021

Summer Break

 Well hello there.

I hope everybody is doing well. 

I'm not sure how things are in your world, but mine is pretty damn shitty. Sometimes everything feels so grim I don't want to try anymore. 

I'm not going to dive into personal beliefs, and God knows, I'm not talking politics, ever, and so this is the last time I'll bring this up. Part of my trouble is I don't know how to help, and haven't known for a long while. 

But I remembered something today. I tell a good story, and I know stuff. Not all stuff, but enough to share it here and there. I can offer distraction. I can help by offering our imagination another place to be.

So, let me dust off my hat, put a little oil on my spurs and a lot on my boots, because it's time to start up my stories. They won't be the same, because I'm a totally different person than the Mugs you knew, and have worked hard to get that way, but hopefully I can still spin a yarn. 

In the fields behind our neighborhood, the grass was so tall I could let my feet swing as I rode and kick the heavy heads off the bunch grass. Seeds would scatter and I felt a bit like Johnny Appleseed - more like Janet Spread The Weeds - but I didn't care. The sun was hot on my pink and peeling shoulders, and Mort walked along without a head toss or a jig. I had hours before chores and summer vacation was still new enough to stretch ahead like a fresh-graded dirt road. 

Mort stopped and started stomping and swatting his tail at a horse fly, so I sidled him next to a scrubby elm and reached for a leafy fly switch. Almost crazy from that buzzing horsefly, he leaned in and started to rub himself on the trunk, then under some low branches. I squawked and wrapped my arms around a branch, and he slid out from under me. 

He was involved enough in grunting and rubbing on that poor little tree that I wasn't worried about him leaving, so I slid to the ground and inspected the damage. My belly was scratched up, so were my legs and arms, and the new pink skin on my sunburned shoulders had been scraped raw. I blew on the little beads of blood that appeared and hopped around until it didn't sting so much. A little baby oil should fix it right up. Another good sunburn or two and I'd be ready to tan all summer, reason enough to ride bareback in  cut-offs and halter top, even if mom said I looked easy.

Mort ambled over and lipped at the bark imbedded in my arm. 

"Yeah, you did that, you shit," I said.

I took a quick look around  to see if anybody heard me cuss. Silly, since we stood alone in a big empty field. I swung up onto his back and he ducked his head so I'd vault all the way over and land on my butt. I was ready for him though, hooked my elbow over his withers and dug my heel into that little hollow right under his hip bone. He didn't get me off, but decided to get a little froggy to pay me back. 

I sat on my pockets and let him ease into his long trot. Karen and I planned to ride out to look for baby antelope and her house was still fifteen minutes away.