There aren’t many jobs for an arthritic, senior citizen mare.
And truthfully Pepper has been quite happy being retired—what some might call a pasture ornament. She’s had her time in the sun with giddy-up and yee-haw.
Plenty of time.
Lately though I’ve had a thought about a possible late in life career for our sweet girl.
She could run a con known as the Shell Game.
You know… the game that consists of three shells (thimbles, plastic cups, walnut shells) and a small round ball the size of a pea. The operator begins the game by placing the pea under one of the shells, then quickly shuffles the shells around.
Once the shells are shuffled, the operator takes bets from the audience as to the location of the pea. If a player bets and guesses correctly, the player will win back double their bet (that is, they will double their money); otherwise the player loses their money.
However, in the hands of a skilled operator, it isn’t possible to win, unless the operator wants the player to win a round or two as part of the con.
It’s all about sleight of hand. That little pea gets moved around or completely removed without anyone seeing it.
And that’s where Miss Pepper comes in.
Every day she takes a pink pill to help manage her arthritis. And that girl can move a little pink pill around her feed pan like nobody’s business. One minute she’s happily munching away on her grain.
“This is it. She’s going to eat the pill,” I say.
Those amazingly sensitive prehensile lips can detect that little pill and totally avoid it.
I know she’s messing with me, pretending to eat the pill when in fact she’s tucking it under her grain.
In the end, most of the time, she eats the pill.
Though I have found pills under her feed pan in the back of our car. Don’t ask me how she pulled that off.
And a time or two I’ve found a pill on the ground.
See what I mean about her being able to pull the con that goes with the Shell Game?
If she ever asks you to put money down on finding the pill, don’t do it!