Prince

My Grandpa got a horse from somewhere. His name was Prince. The horse was Prince. Grandpa was Lyle. Horses are smart, and they have personalities. And my Grandpa had a pretty colorful personality too.

I spent a lot of time at my Grandparent’s farm in the summers. My Mom was a single mother of three, and my dad was not around. Ever. So I came to be at the farm a lot, as I remember it.

After you ride a horse, it will be sweaty and tired. It is good practice to brush them down. I was doing just that under a pecan tree in the side yard one day. Giving Prince a good brushing. My Grandparents were in the house. Prince thought it would be entertaining, in a horsey sort of way, to stand on my foot. So he did. With just enough pressure that I could not move my foot. I was stuck there. And he just stood, staring into the distance, as if all was well.

I think I probably started screaming, or yelling, or crying at some point. I was kind of a wimpy kid. Anyway, at this point my salvation, Grandma, came running out of the back door. She came directly across the yard, punched the horse in the side, and pulled me to safety. But wait. Then she threw me into the back seat of their car.

Their car was a two tone Ford. Cars were works of art then, with the chrome and the metal, and the expansive interiors.

The farm was a work of art then too. There were dairy cows, hogs, sheep, a garden, numerous crops, and the various machinery to service it all.  The fields were divided by fences, lanes, and gates. Today is about the sheep.

After delivering me to the car, she went around and jumped into the driver seat. As Grandma fired the Ford up, Grandpa climbed into the passenger seat. With his shotgun. I now know it was a Winchester Model 12. But then it was just his shotgun. Off we went, around the silo and down the lane, past the machine shed.

It appeared that there were dogs in the sheep pen, chasing the sheep. My deliverance had nothing to do with my predicament. Grandpa had spotted the dogs chasing the sheep from the kitchen window. Now, as we blasted past  the sheep pen, the dogs took off down the lane ahead of us. One was a big, hairy  Collie.

Grandpa was situated with the passenger door open somehow, and his shotgun sticking out ahead between the door and the windshield post ( that’s called the A Pillar). Or maybe he was hanging out the window. And he was blasting away at the dogs.

Kids today just don’t get this kind of fun. I am in the back seat of a car, with no seat belt, speeding down a two track, with a guy hanging out the window shooting a gun. Well, maybe they do in some neighborhoods, but its not quite the same thing.

I do not remember how that day ended up, or even what happened next. I do remember going to a neighbors house to talk about their dogs. And I do remember the Sheriff coming to see Grandpa on one occasion. I do not know if that was the same day, or related in anyway. But I do hold that part of that day in my memory.