Rounding the second corner of the barn, one of them decided that this was far too much work, and ended the make-shift unicorn hitch by pealing off and going back to grazing.
But the other two were just getting started...
Isn’t it amazing how equine go to such lengths and tactics to get out of work, when you weren’t about to ask them for even 1/4 of that amount, in the first place?
Round and round they go, where they stop, nobody knows.
Long about that time, the two renegades noticed the bridle path along the trees, and thought the scenic route might be a nice addition to their speedy little adventure.
Since silent movie stars can’t run that fast, and everyone knows the true goal of all runaways is to get back to the barn, I decided to take that little opportunity to rest my aching legs and silently scream obscenities into my curled-up, rope-scalded hands.
Even Boris Karloff sat up and took notice.
I was still crying for my Mama when the galloping duo did a perfect U-turn at the top of the hill and came flying back down the trail.
Barnum and Bailey’s Liberty Ponies had nothing on this pair, and right about the time they passed the outside center of my Father’s immaculate vegetable garden, they decided a short cut to the barn was in their best interest, and ploughed straight through the big ol’ middle of it.
The trick ponies jumped the fence in perfect unison, and the trace hooks from the single-tree caught perfectly on the chicken wire fence surrounding all the lovely vegetables.
The one now known as the "Devil Incarnate," began to drag all that along, too.
After they took out the entire green bean patch, four pepper plants and two whole rows of corn, they leaped over the opposite side of the fence, the trace hooks catching on that part, also, making for a very colorful and entertaining haul.
With corn stalks, fence, dirt and bean plants flying, one could only pause and stare at the spectacle as it swept past.
The traces gave out just then, leaving a debris field 35 feet long, and old Sputnik was then free to continue his orbit around the barn, his Shetland pony buddy flying wing.
The two were in their glory then, and they really kicked it into 5th gear like a couple of drag racers, proceeding to exit stage left into the open field, 100 yards away.
It was here that the horse gods finally took mercy on me, guiding the wayward missiles into a pasture where the gate had been left open.
As I finally took hold of the blinker bridle, I noticed a dark, burgeoning mushroom cloud gathering in the West above the house, as my Father began to surmise all the damage to his beautiful vegetable garden.
The chickens had also discovered what happened and began a field day of cleaning up the remains of all the produce.
I was fine after taking care of the internal bleeding and sore muscles, although my hands had to wrapped in gauze and I couldn’t walk for a week.
I really was a silent film star, having to be carried everywhere, Princess-style.
As for the ponies, they are excitedly awaiting the arrival of the HeeHaw film crew to begin shooting an episode of the show here at our farm in Espyville.
Now, about my half of that Pymatuning Causeway...
Folks, it has, indeed, been real.
Leaving you to ponder the finer points of owning equine to the immortal words of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, "Happy Trails to You."
1: "Impressive," was a famous Quarter Horse Stallion. Known for his exceptionally beautiful looks and not so exceptionally beautiful disposition, he is credited with creating the equine disease known as "HYPP," or Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis, a genetic disorder where the horse has inability to regulate electrolytes, causing impaired nerve function.
2: My two ponies, "Gambler," and "Prince," now in pony heaven.
3: "Sleestak." From the 1970's Saturday morning kids’ show, "Land of the Lost,"; an ugly, green reptilian with mitted, curled hands.
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