A Horse Story

I have a story to tell you. I first heard part of the story from Mom, years ago. It started as a “when I was pregnant with you,” story.

“When I was pregnant with you, our love baby,” Mom said, “one day your father didn’t come home for dinner.”

[Note: Love baby means accident, but I didn’t know that until I was so old it didn’t matter any more. Only it did matter, because Mom gave me the gift of thinking I was something special, by calling me that. All my life.]

“We lived out on a ranch. He had been searching and searching for a calf, and he didn't come home, so I was worried.”

Dad and my cousin Laura.  This is about the only picture I have of Dad in his work clothes!

It is very romantic to picture your parents living on a ranch while you are a love baby bun in the oven. Just wait, it gets even better.

“It was the middle of summer, and I was big pregnant with you, and all I had to drive was my VW bug. And I had your sister, who was just over one year old. I somehow loaded us all up in the bug, barely reaching the steering wheel with my big belly in front of me, and we drove around that ranch looking for your father. We drove and drove, and it was hot.”

“When I found that man, he was in the creek. He was in the creek holding his horse’s head above the water. They had been in there for a long time.”

See what I mean about the romance?

Unfortunately, that's all I remembered about the story.

But what happened next?

For the longest time, I never knew, other than Dad obviously survived.  But as I was cooking lunch for Dad after church recently, I remembered Mom’s story. So, I asked him to tell me what he remembered. Here is what he said, the rest of the story.

“That was actually on a ranch right near a lake. I was working for the grain coop, and they always put their folks in the rural areas and on ranches before they moved you up to the big city. I loved that place; it was one of my favorite places that we lived. Anyway, I had been searching for a baby calf, me and my horse. We couldn’t find him, but I kept looking, me and that horse, we just kept looking. He was a good horse, he just kept going. Then, we started to cross a creek, and he gave out. His whole body just collapsed in the water. He decided he could not take another step. He was done.”

“I thought he would get back up in a bit, but he didn’t. He had decided to give up. I somehow got in front of him and held his head above the water by bracing my back against him. I took off his harness and bit, and his saddle, and I just held him up.”

“How long were you in there?  You weren’t thinking mom would come help you, were you?” I said.

“No.” Dad said. “She was big pregnant with you. I would never have thought she’d come looking for me. I was just trying to wait the horse out, 'till he would get going again, but he wasn’t showing any sign of wanting to go on. We were in there for an hour or more.”

“So what happened?” I said. “Surely Mom didn’t help you get him out?”

“No, we had a good neighbor who was a rancher, just up the road. I sent her to get him and he came right away.”

“So what did you do?  Did he pull the horse out?”

“No,” Dad said. “The neighbor looked at us and he said: ‘I know exactly what this fellow needs. Think you can hold him there for a bit longer?’”

Dad’s a committed guy, and he’s always been strong.  I’ve often thought of him as my Jean Valjean because he’ll do anything for anyone, and he’s super strong. Of course he said yes.

So he stood there, bracing that horse’s head above the water, with his pregnant wife and baby girl taking the neighbor to get the help.  Can you guess what that help was?

Soon the neighbor came trotting up with his horse, and just like that, Dad’s horse lumbered right on out after him.

Dad’s horse just needed another horse to come along and cheer him out of that creek.

All he needed was another horse.

Friends, sometimes we need each other, and not in an internet kind of way. The horse about to give up just needed to see the face of another horse. We all need to see each other's faces, and sometimes it's just that simple.

Hope you have a blessed week. And I hope you do/get some simple one-on-one, face to face rescuing.

If you enjoyed this story, here are a few more inspirational posts.  Also note, a list of my most loved posts follows this blog.

I Believe

On Corsets, Les Mis, and Life 

Living with Our Limps

Or, if you are in the mood for a good book that further explores this theme, here are some recent ones I've read and reviewed:

These Healing Hills (Nurse looks for a new life in the Appalachians, post WWII)

A Matter of Trust (Montana Rescuer helps woman who betrayed him)

Deep Extraction (Houston Special Agent finds that there is love after death)


Dee Martin said…
oh my goodness I needed this today. Now I'm nothing but a big puddle. I love this story.
Sydney Young said…
Blessings to you, Dee. ❤️

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