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IN THE DARK OF THE NIGHT

April 14, 2016

 

One dark night, decades ago, two friends and I spent the evening bar-hopping.  It’s what we did back then.  We have since mended our evil ways.

I was the designated driver simply because I owned a car.  Let’s just say I wasn’t completely sober and leave it at that…

Sally lived about 20 miles out of town and we decided to bring her home first.  

Traffic was light, as is usually the case in the dead of night in the middle of nowhere.  We were driving along that paved country road somewhere around the midpoint of our journey, probably not exceeding the speed limit by much, when we crested a hill…

SCREEEEEEECHH!!!  I stomped the brake pedal with both feet, praying fervently that I could stop short of hitting a horse!  A very large, very dark, HORSE.  Perhaps two.

We determined, rather quickly, that it was indeed two horses in the road, one in each lane, both standing broadside, facing west.  Both were dark in color, and difficult to see at 2:00 a.m.

Avoiding them by swerving into the other lane was out of the question.  Our choices, besides hitting the horses, were to veer to the right, onto the shoulder down a steep incline and into a field, preferably without rolling the car.  Choice #2 was to veer left, cross the oncoming lane currently occupied by a horse, hit the ditch and attempt to weave our way through a single row of pine trees and into a corral.   

Seatbelts were not required back then, and not every car had them.  I honestly don’t remember if my car was so equipped.  The impaired driving laws have tightened up a lot in the last forty years as well.  

Cute little Shetland ponies these were NOT.  They were more the size and color of Adam Cartwright’s horse on ‘Bonanza’.  

Both horses had that ‘deer in the headlights’ look in their eyes and remained firmly rooted to the asphalt.

By the grace of God, we managed to stop just shy of the beast in the northbound lane.

Once our wits came back to the party, we decided that the responsible thing to do would be to tell the owner that their horses were loose.  A good plan, even at that hour.

I turned into the closest driveway.  We climbed the steps and pounded on the door repeatedly, to no avail.  Either no one was home, or they weren’t answering the door.  Time to move on…

There was a small house across the road.  We approached and again, we beat our fists loudly on the door.  We thought we heard a noise from inside and added our voices “YOUR HORSES ARE ON  THE ROAD!”  

A fearful young woman opened the door a crack… and recognized us.  We were high school classmates!  She told us how scared she had been;  her husband was working and she was home alone.  

We helped her inspect the corral, finding what she thought were bear tracks and a break in the fence, presumably the frightened horses leaned into the fence until it broke. 

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One Comment
  1. Greg Frosig permalink

    So glad to see that you are finding the time to write again. As always, a pleasant blog entry to read! ?

    Sent from my iPhone

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