Sunday, November 05, 2006


As I arrived home from a day at the World Fantasy Con, I intended to check the mail, feed the dog and relax, waiting for Mary Ann to make her way home from her New Mexico excursion. What awaited me there by the mailbox was a knocked down fence, and a missing horse.

I hurriedly drove down and around the property, looking for any sign of Gamblor. Light was fading rapidly, so I decided first order of business was to check the neighboring properties. I drove down to the end of the road and back, peering into other pastures. There was one group of horses, but none of them looked like mine.

Back up to the junction, and I searched eastward.

There in the dim light was a horse that looked right, confined in a neighbors pasture. I drove up to the fence and called. This horse looked almost like Gamblor. There was the same one white foot. As far as I could tell, it was the same variety and color. And it was friendly, coming up close enough for me to shine the flashlight. But this horse was slightly larger than Gamblor and didn't have the identifying tattoo along the mane. Reluctantly, I decided that this wasn't the one and drove back toward the house. I called Mary Ann. She was still three or four hours away, but she confirmed that the horse on 138 wasn't the right one, and suggested a closer neighbor. And then my engine showed I was almost out of gas.

Taking the lead rope I walked over to the neighbor's property and there I saw that there were two horses in his barn. It was too dark to identify them. I rang the bell and he came out. "You missing a horse?"
Our previous horse could practically walk through a loose barbed wire fence, but Gamblor has never been inclined to escape, unless the door was left open for him. This time, a corner post came down, probably rotted through at the base and blown down by the wind. The gate swung open and invited him to go visit his neighbor up the hill.

For now, I've got the pickup parked in the gap and the gate held in place with elastic cords. But fence repair is certainly in the cards now.

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