I had received my draft notice and pretty much decided that my life was over. I was sure I was going to be inducted into the Army, sent to VietNam and die. I just knew it…
Some older friends of mine decided that I needed one “last trip” before that fateful induction day arrived, so they took me on a trip to Colorado. We stayed with some of their friends in town, but went up into the hills to visit another couple they were friends with. It was quite a drive up the mountain, a few scary curves, and more than one bump in the road. When we finally arrived at our destination, it was a trailer parked on the side of a pasture.
Actually, it was quite picturesque, with horses grazing in the field and the pine trees off in the distance. We were met by the man of the house and were invited in to visit. The trailer was packed with “stuff” – cowboy stuff, boots, belts, spurs, guns, ropes and cats – at least 100 – okay, it seemed like a hundred, but there were at least 10 cats. They were everywhere! When we sat down to eat, so did the cats and no one but me seemed to mind that a cat was “tasting” the mashed potatoes … yuck!
After lunch we were asked if we’d like to take a horse ride. Well, I’d never been on a horse before, so I was a bit reticent, but I ended up in the saddle, with my friend sitting behind me.
We were on a spirited horse who did not take direction well. The horse seemed content on letting us know who was boss, and it wasn’t me. My friend, not exactly an experienced horseman himself, encouraged me to kick the horse to let him know who was boss.
Kick I did, and the horse took off like a shot … actually, it was a fairly smooth ride, until the horse got to the cliff. Now, the horse knew the cliff was there; we did not. The horse stopped dead in its tracks; we did not. I went sailing over the horse’s head and the last thing I saw was “little cars” on the road below.
I hit something soft. I figured I was dead, and was surprised that dead felt “prickly”. I was up-side-down in a pine tree! It took the better part of an hour to extract me from the tree.
The Life Lesson(s) I learned … gravity rules and stay away from horses …
© 2006 Robert Allen Hill