It has come to my attention that it is National Margarita Day. So, in lieu of posting something serious about training my horse (a subject I'm feeling rather uninspired about, anyway), I shall kick back with a delicious margarita and entertain you with a funny farm story.....
I actually remember the exact date that this happened, because it was my husband's birthday. We had plans to go out for brunch at the local diner to celebrate. Around 7am, as I was enjoying my first pot of coffee, there was a knock at the door. I opened the door, and a very concerned woman yelled, "Your grey horse was running down the highway!!!!" Then, before I could get a single word in, she quickly retreated to her car and left. I was left standing at my door in a state of confusion.
Now, I do have a grey horse, and he does escape regularly. But, I could see him standing at the barn waiting for his breakfast. Spider and Matilda were there, too, all waiting patiently for me to come out to feed. They were all safely inside the fence, not running down the highway.
I walked out onto the porch, trying to figure out what the blankety-blank was going on, and then I saw her.... Not a grey, a roan snowflake Appaloosa, happily munching her way through my vegetable garden. Now, where did she come from?
|This image has nothing to do with the subject matter, but I find it hilarious, and somehow appropriate for National Margarita Day.|
I sighed, and then put my boots on.
I grabbed a bucket, put a handful of grain in it, threw a lead line over my shoulder and trudged out to retrieve her. As soon as she heard the grain in the bucket she trotted right over. Good mare.
She was wearing a halter, a purple sparkly thing. I clipped my lead line to her and looked her over. She was obedient, fat and slick, her feet were well cared for and covered in sparkly purple hoof polish. She was obviously some little girl's pet, which meant someone would be looking for her. I took her to my front pasture, which borders the highway, and set her up with some hay and water. I figured that her owners were probably out looking for her, and if they passed by they'd see her in the pasture.
We don't have much in the way of municipal services in my township, no police force or animal control, but I figured if the mare had been running down the highway that maybe the State Troopers would know something about it. So, I called up the non-emergency line and got the dispatcher...
"Hello", I said, "I found a loose horse on my property this morning. I caught her, and put her in my front pasture."
"Oh good!", the dispatcher said, "We've been getting calls about that horse all morning! So, you've got her contained now? That's great! Bye!"
"Wait, WAIT!", I yelled, "Don't you want my address in case the owners call looking for the horse?"
The dispatcher thought about it for a minute, then responded, "Ummmm, I guess...."
So, since the State Troopers were obviously a dead end, we settled in to wait for the mare's owner to show up. Poor husband, no birthday brunch at the diner for him. Such is farm life.
Around noon a gentleman in a convertible pulled into the driveway. We rushed up to him, hoping he was the owner of the errant beast. He was not. Turns out, the mare had run through his lawn at around 6am, and then he had seen her in our pasture while riding around in his car, so he decided to pull in to see if we were her owners. Another dead end....
Finally, around 4pm, an SUV pulled in to the driveway. The mare's owners had been found! They had been driving all over, but it turns out she was several miles from home. The gentleman in the convertible had seen them out looking while on his joy-ride, and told them where to find the mare.
She was, as I suspected, their little girl's pet. Her name, I was told, was "Mow"... As in, "Mow the lawn". It turns out that the mare lived in their front yard in one of those portable round pens. They moved the round pen around their yard, and Mow mowed the lawn, hence the name. The previous night, their daughter hadn't latched the gate properly and Mow had gotten loose and gone on a grand adventure.
I was happy to have Mow reunited with her owners, but they hadn't come with a trailer, so I told them I would keep her until they got back with a trailer. To my surprise, they said, "Oh no! We'll just lead her home." I offered to trailer her home myself, but they insisted that she'd be just fine walking home. So, I watched Mow go quietly down the highway, followed by the SUV. Good mare.
The next day Mow's owners brought me cookies to say "Thank You" for rescuing her, so I know she got home safely.
South Jersey is definitely a bit different....