Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Is today April 1st?

That may be but what I am about to share is a really, for true, honest injun, it did happen, I swear! story.
Way back when the earth was young-you know the year that I was 12-we lived up the dirt road from my Grandaddy Tyson's farm in an old ramshackle farmhouse. This house was built in the days when clapboard really was clapboard and people used things like corn cobs for insulation. While we were laying on our beds we could see the sun shining through the joins in the wall-the house was that ramshackley and old. As a matter of fact when we first moved into this old house there was a hole big enough to jump through in the middle of the living room floor. Beggars can't be choosers and heck we kids were mostly young enough to think the place was really cool.
The yard was big, over an acre I'm sure, and wrapped all around by a pecan orchard on one side and a pasture and barn on the other. Let me tell you we had some of the best times of our young lives playing in that yard and up and down the dirt road.
This story centers around our pony-Teaser by name. My father, in an uncharacteristic fit of parental indulgence, had acquired for us this little sorrel stud pony. He was short and lazy and only a little bit mean and we loved him and played with him like he was a giant dog. He would follow us around the yard, beg us for treats and stand hipshot and slack lipped, tied to a tree for hours while we, in our childish ways, forgot that we were going to ride him and best of all, Teaser never held a grudge.
Teaser was a character and a greedier gut you never met. He would eat chicken-bones and all( KFC being his favorite), he loved cat food(we fed for a while about 20 cats at the back steps) and chewing tobacco. I can still see him licking and slobbering over that tobacco, smacking his lips as horses are want do. One time he even sucked up my chocolate shake from McDonalds(my very own having been purchased with my own money), slurped it right up through the straw, down to the last drop. I was pretty upset about that you can be sure, but in the end laughter won out cause really-I love a good story and how many of you can say your pony drank your chocolate shake-and through a straw no less?
One fine sunny Saturday we kids-there were 6 of us if you didn't know that already-decided that old Teaser needed himself a bath and we were just the group of intrepid volunteers for the job. Being way out in the country like we were, the water came from a well and even in the Deep South that water can be a mite bit cold. The way around that when wetting down a pony-or horse for that matter-is start off at the hooves and slowly work your way up their legs and sides, saving their neck and head for last. We soaked Teaser but good and poured on the shampoo. Oh the fun we had and lather we made, and I do believe that ole Teaser was enjoying the massage himself. Before too long the suds were red with good Georgia clay, and it was time for the rinse off. Since he was already wet we decided for the sake of efficiency we would just start at the top and work down with our rinsing efforts and we were feeling a bit pressed for time since clouds were looming on the horizon and a cool wind had started to blow.
Finally Teaser was clean and rinsed and looking as much like a drowned rat as is possible for a little brown horse to look, that wind blowing cold, the sun no longer sending it's warmth down to us. Now contrary to what some might have thought about the group of rapscallions that we were, it hurt our hearts to see our beloved standing there shivering and wet due to our zealous efforts.
We worried-what if Teaser got sick? It would be our fault and we didn't want that on our collective young conscience. We had to dry him off, but how? There weren't enough towels in the house for the job-well maybe there were but gosh-would we ever be in trouble for mucking them up with pony hair!
Ah Hah!
A solution!
We would just use the blow dryer to quickly take care of our wet pony.
Wait a minute-there's no extension cord long enough!
I know, let's just bring him inside!
Inside? He might slip on the linoleum!
We'll just lay some towels down for traction!(How quickly we forgot our earlier discussion about towel usage!)
Up the stairs we led Teaser, him picking his way gingerly across the wobbly wood porch, through the front door as we make a little towel path-much like a red carpet-for him to walk on.
Teaser doesn't flinch or blink an eye as we blow dried away, merely gazing about in a mildly interested way, taking in the dining room furniture, probably wondering what he had ever done in his little pony life to deserve this star treatment.
Eventually the blow dryer gave out-well before Teaser was dry-but our consciences were soothed we turned him around and led him back down the "red carpet" and outside.
We turned him loose in his pasture and I am sure you all can guess what happened next.
Yep! Right down he lay to roll and wriggle in the grass and stood up, covered in dry grass and dirt looking as pleased as punch to have finished with his grand adventure.
Now where were the grown-ups when all this was happening you might be compelled to ask?
Mom and Dad had taken alternating 12 on 12 off weekend shifts at some factory or other in order to make more money and still have someone at home when we kids were. What this really meant was that while one was at work the other was asleep and we kids had free run of the place on the weekends. So Terri(my stepmom) slept on unaware that a pony had been in the house, and never suspected a thing until we finally confessed years later, long after Teaser had moved on to greener pastures(really-he moved on, sold to a man who wanted to breed more little ponies when we finally outgrew him)
The top pic is of my sister Tracy riding Teaser who in a rare moment had put on a bit of speed.
The bottom pic is the spot Teaser was standing while getting his blowdry-if you look close you can just see the beadboard walls that we watched the sunlight filter through.


The CEO said...

I'm trying to picture your faces when he decided to lie down and roll around in the grass. I can see six mouths dropping open in astonishment, and six pais of eyes becoming enormous in astonishment.

Huff Daddy said...

You need to explain to the Yankees about linoleum in the living room ;)

Brook said...

CEO-I think we all just kinda shrugged our shoulders and counted how many times he went from side to side-the higher the number the more valuable the horse-according to my dad anyway.
Huff Daddy-Is there an explanation for linoleum in the living room? It must be a southern thing that must be accepted, not questioned-like mayonaise bbq sauce in Alabama, and umm, the moon landing and that kind of stuff.

Huff Daddy said...

"It's a Southern thang ya'll wouldn't understand."

My guess is it is related to the perception of feeling cooler in the summer heat. Or it could be that vacuum cleaners were just to expensive down here for most people to own. I always thought it strange since most of the carpet was made in Georgia.

Nej said...

I love it!!! Ponies in the house...hey, your logic made perfect sense to me!! :-)

Brook said...

Huff Daddy-I am sure that is it, just like up north for a good while wall to wall carpet was a big thing for cold toesies in the winter. And I think the factory Mom & Dad worked at was making carpets.

Nej-who can argue with the logic of a bunch of kids? Mostly I can't believe Teaser didn't freak out-that is the most amazing part of the whole tale. Even my little dog freaks over the blow dryer a little. And I use it every day while he watches!

Spellbound said...

Sorry, been working this week and just found your pony surprise. I'm just country girl enough for all of this to make perfect sense to me. We were big on bathing animals back in KY. I have a picture of my mother giving a racoon a bath and a story half way written for that. Still you really can't say your county unless you've given an old Black and Tan hound dog a bath in tomato juice trying to wash the skunk smell off. Damn, good times, those were the days. Now if you will excuse me I'm off to get a manicure.

Brook said...

Spellbound-skunk smells abounded-though we seldom had a dog for vey long(we kids were intrepid let me tell you). I am jealous of the manicure. I think if the boots are on hold for a bit I should at least get a manicure, don't you?There was a time-actually years-until marraige-haha-that I would not have dreamed of doing without that biweekly indulgence.