Imagine you are a twenty-nine year old Appaloosa gelding enjoying your lunch as you do every day.

You’re nose deep in a delicious pan of grain, thinking you are one lucky horse to have such a meal before you. You take your time, savoring each bite.

Then from the corner of your eye you see something that makes you stop chewing for a moment.

A very large truck loaded with baled hay.

At first you think it’s a smorgasbord on wheels.

But then you realize the severity of the situation. The truck is backing down the road straight for you.

Surely the driver sees you.

The truck keeps coming and you know you’d better get out of the way.

You do a little crow-hop to the side, trip over Pepper’s feed pan and bump into the empty hay wagon that sits in the field by the car.

Your entire twenty-nine years flash before your eyes:

Your early years living with buffalo, the road trip from Iowa to Colorado, meeting Miss Pepper, your time serving on the Northern Colorado Mounted Patrol, the years when you were the alpha in the pasture, giving rides to B. and K., that little sorrel filly named Rosie (ahem), hanging out with the other Oldsters, your recent scuffle with Fred, and spending time with your best human friend – Rick.

In an instant you revisit all of it.

You glance around to make sure no one sees your panic. Appaloosas don’t panic.

Do they?

You wonder how the driver could be so careless and you consider tossing a few well-chosen words his way.  But instead, you only think them. No need to stoop to his level.

Eventually the truck pulls forward, the driver seemingly oblivious to your plight.

You finish eating, more to calm your jangled nerves than from hunger. And then you allow yourself to be led back into the pasture to rejoin your pals.

It will be a good story to recount  when everyone is hunkered down in the shed, out of the wind.

Appaloosa – 1

Hay truck – 0

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