Just in case we don't get internet tomorrow morning, I'm getting this post scheduled to post on Thursday morning. A large storm came through Monday night knocking out our phone line and taking our internet away from us. So, we've been without internet since Tuesday morning. It's been strange not being able to do the usual things, but when I'm waiting for an e-mail with something I need for my book, it was hard to wait. :)
But here is the next and final part of
A Horse Called Danger
Nearly falling off Sea Hawk, I exclaimed, “He’s shot! Uncle was shot by Dandy Boy!”
The two hired men, hearing the commotion, had raced over from the barn. It was quite a story, I know, and almost impossible to believe unless you had been there. At last I gave up trying to convince anyone of what had taken place. Uncle could tell them. If he was all right.
It was a long wait there at the ranch, not knowing what was happening. At last Mr. Gardner came by in his truck and took us with Aunt Julia to the hospital. He said Uncle George had lost a lot of blood, but he thought he’d be all right.
Thankfully, he was all right and we brought him home the next day. It wasn’t until Uncle George insisted that it was indeed Dandy Boy who had shot him, that people began to accept the fact that he had been shot by his own horse. After that no one who was wearing a gun went near the horse. It wasn’t that he was mean, just dangerous.
The days passed by and Dad and Mom were expected in a few days. I could hardly wait. It wasn’t that I was wanting to leave the ranch and go back to the city, but I wanted Dad to see me ride. We had gotten quite a bit of rain and things were muddy. I hoped the sun would have a chance to dry the ground up somewhat before Dad and I were ready to ride. As things turned out, it didn’t matter anyway.
Since Uncle George wasn’t doing much riding, with him being older and having a wounded leg and all, I was promoted to a real working hand on the ranch. This was greatly to my liking and how proud I felt doing a man’s job. Every day I spent hours in the saddle on either Sea Hawk or Dandy Boy. Yes, I still rode Dandy Boy since Uncle wouldn’t let me pack a gun.
One sunny day, one I never forgot, I headed off on Dandy Boy to deliver a message to the hands in a back pasture. I was riding at a good, steady pace when we came to a long stretch of muddy ground. In the middle of the mud was a gate I had to go through. Urging Dandy Boy on through the thick mud, I turned him to open the gate. I’m not quite sure what happened then. Maybe I turned him too fast, maybe he stumbled and then slipped. Either way, he slipped and fell. It was so sudden and I was so completely unprepared for it, that I wasn’t able to get my leg out of the way. All I remember is the sense of falling and a sudden, terrible pain in my leg and then blackness.
When I came to some time later, I couldn’t figure out what had happened or where I was. Until I tried to move. Then the sharp, agonizing pain brought everything back. After several minutes I was able to turn my head slightly, and I could see Dandy Boy calmly grazing nearby still saddled and bridled. I’m not sure how he got there while I remained in the mud, but so it was. I knew my leg must be broken because the pain in it was deep and intense, but I wasn’t sure about anything else. Right then I wished Dad were there. He would know what to do. Then I thought of that ride Dad and I were going to take together. I wondered if we’d be able to. True, I didn’t remember hearing anyone with a broken leg riding a horse, but perhaps, just perhaps I could manage it if someone helped me on the horse. Now just remember, folks, sometimes thirteen-year-old boys can be pretty optimistic.
I must have lost conciseness again shortly after that because the next thing I remember is hearing voices and feeling the touch of a hand on my face. Opening my eyes I saw one of the hands beside me. He was talking to someone I couldn’t see, probably the other cowhand. “. . . And ride fast! He needs help!” I heard him say.
Things were rather a blur after that. The cowboy stayed with me, and we talked a little, but I don’t remember much about it. Then the medics came. I thought the pain was bad before, but when they had to move me onto the stretcher, well, I gave a gasp and blacked out again.
When I next woke up I discovered I was in the hospital and Mom and Dad were beside me. “Dad,” I whispered, “can we go riding tomorrow?”
Mom gave a gasp, but Dad smiled. “Not tomorrow, Son,” he told me. “You’ve got a leg that was busted in three places. You won’t be riding for a while.”
When I was at last released from the hospital, Dad drove me to Uncle George and Aunt Julia’s for a few days of rest before we flew home. We were sitting around the living room that first evening and Uncle George turned to Dad. “You still want to ride Danger?”
Dad shook his head. “Nope, I think I can do without any accidents right now.”
“Who’s Danger?” I asked. I didn’t think Uncle had gotten any new horses.
It was Ivy who answered. “That’s what everyone has started calling Dandy Boy.”
“But he’s not dangerous,” I protested.
Aunt Julia snorted. “And just what would you call a horse that shoots one rider and breaks another rider’s leg?”
Though I tried, I couldn’t think of any other name. Well, I never did ride Dandy Boy or Danger again. Two weeks later Uncle sold him. I’m not sure what became of him after that, but I’ve kept my ears open and any time I hear of someone getting hurt by a horse in a strange accident, I figure it’s a good guess that they just might have been riding Danger.
So, what did you think of the story?
You want to ride that horse?
Have you heard any strange stories about horses?