“Mandi, wake up!”
I was in the midst of my wedding with Johnny Depp when my dream was shattered by my mother’s wake up screech. Unless the house was on fire or there was a tornado in the vicinity, I really couldn’t imagine what could be so urgent.
“Mandi, get up! You have to see this!” She yelled, the excitement in her voice caused the last word to go up about 12 octaves and come out as more of a squeak then an actual word.
So, out of bed I tumbled, mumbling thoughts that would get me in more trouble then I would like to think about.
Hearing the back door slam, I threw on my high top LA Gear sneakers, complete with glittery pink shoe strings, and out the door I went.
Through the fog I could barely see my mom. She was in her nightgown the same as I was. The difference being that she had on penny loafers without socks, her hair was in pin curls and she was holding a five pound sack of potatoes. She was crouched behind our puke green Cordoba, a monster of a car, as if she were hiding from a sniper.
Fearing for my mother’s mental health I went to squat down beside her. I was working down a mental checklist of things that her new home would need. Like say, nice bathroom facilities and nurses who didn’t strap you down to the bed.
“Look, Mandi, LOOK!” she said, pointing her finger in the direction of the front yard. The fog was thick but I could see the outline of a large object that appeared to be moving. Before I had the chance to ponder exactly what it was, my mom put a stop to the mystery.
“It’s a horse!”
And that’s when I saw it. Emerging from the fog was, indeed, a horse.
We lived inside the Flatwoods city limits. You’re not even allowed to have horses inside the city limits. But there it was, grazing in our front yard like it owned the place.
My mom and I stayed behind that Cordoba for probably an hour. We fed the horse the entire sack of potatoes, which I’m guessing is probably overdoing it a little. But, we were so mystified that we couldn’t stop. It’s not everyday you find barn animals in your yard.
After running out of potatoes, I decided I wanted to pet it. After working up the courage, I was able to do so without incident. I think I heard my mom let out a sigh of relief and say something like, “Thank goodness it’s a nice horsey.”
The rest of my morning was spent hanging out with our new barnyard pal. I was living a little girl’s dream. But, no matter how hard I protested, my mom called the authorities to let them know that we were in possession of a horse escapee. It was an unfortunate coincidence that the owners weren’t located until I managed to make a mess of the situation.
I tied the horse to a tree so I could have lunch. When I came back 5 minutes later, it was looking a little agitated. It took me all of 20 seconds to realize that I’d tied a noose rather then a knot.
“MOM! MOM!” I yelled, watching as the horse started to buck around and panic.
“What? OH! Has it gone mad? Get away from it!” my mom yelled, running out of the house.
“It can’t breath! The knot slipped and it can‘t breathe!” I screamed, dancing around, trying to get to the rope. During the ruckus, I managed to get my foot stuck in the water bucket I’d left out for it to drink from.
“Mandi, I swear to you if you don’t stop messing around you are grounded! Quit goofing off and get over here and help me!” She said, as if I’d gotten stuck on purpose.
I did free my leg from the bucket. Just as we had finally gotten the rope off, the police pulled in , followed by a truck with attached horse trailer.
The owner thanked us profusely for taking care of his favorite horse. We didn’t feel the need to explain the situation. Seeing as how it was fine and all, it didn’t seem important. Plus, we didn’t want to go to jail for attempted murder.
All’s well that ends well, as they say. Waving and smiling as they pulled out of the driveway, I’m pretty sure I heard mom say, “Next time, we’re taking the horse to the neighbor’s house.