This comes from a post-a-day prompt thoughtfully provided by WordPress. What questions do I hope a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist NEVER asks me?
We all know Jane is never going to be interviewed by anyone other than a very obscure journal called: “Women Who Eat Too Much Sugar and The Horses Who Get Miffed By Rider Weight Gain”.
If she’s lucky.
This is what I don’t want you to know.
- Do you have an imaginary friend?
- What is on your bucket list?
- How many times did you lie to your mother about her Mother’s Day Card already being mailed?
Questions I wish someone would ask me:
- Where do you see Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys heading?
- Would you like the rest of this cake?
- How many bugs would you say were in your childhood?
What the heck. Let’s go for it.
1. Do you have an imaginary friend?
No. I do not have an imaginary friend. But really, we should let Sir Doodelus and Lady Cramplebug weigh in on that. They have a problematic love child that is a cross between a green beetle and…something glittery…who is in a completely unsuitable relationship with a hairy bumblebee named Ferdinand. Their lives are complicated and involve way more drama than I am comfortable with.
2. What is on your bucket list?
“Bucket List” makes people think of Zip Lines, and Jumping Out of Airplanes, and traveling to Obscure Countries without proper inoculation. I am not a “Bucket List” person. I find movies terrifying. My brain understands my body is just sitting in a room watching light flicker, but my soul is certain I will die a horrible death when that car being riddled by bullets from a semi-automatic sails over the guard rail, bursts into flame, and plunges 1000 feet down into a gorge, end over end.
Not that I’ve thought about it.
Fine. I’ll go over the guard rail. The Bucket List:
1. Reading with Goats.
This is Jane’s speed. That pink blob is the neighbor sitting out in her field, reading with her goats. While we don’t appreciate Goat Trees, we do love to see our neighbor reading in the sun, surrounded by happy goats. This is the back of the neighbor’s home. The properties abut. If the neighbor wasn’t some complicated distance away off another road and a couple zillion random driveways, Jane would have already knocked and asked if she could come read with their goats. And we wouldn’t be hearing from her, because she’d be locked up some where.
2. Listen at least 100 more times to David Sedaris reading his story “Jesus Shaves.”
3. Spend even more quality time with certain friends:
4. Explore my Native American Heritage.
Being a Native American is hilarious. We tilt-ily rode lime green dinosaurs, without a saddle or bridle. Who knew?
5. Keep My Horse Off Twitter
This is turning out to be surprisingly difficult.
6. Hoard, I mean “Rescue” a bunch of these guys.
And look, he clips!
Enough of the Bucket List.
3. How many times did you lie to your mother about her Mother’s Day Card already being mailed?
Too complicated. I’d have to do the math. How old I was when I started mailing Mother’s Day Cards times the guilt factor (Number of times I repeated, “No really, it should be there by now!”) minus the times I didn’t even pretend I’d mailed it on time.
Waaaay too complicated.
What are the questions you ARE NOT GOING TO ANSWER?
This is no ordinary willow tree.
We’ve ridden past this tree every single day without incident. But I know now that was because it’s fruit take a loooong time to ripen. A year maybe.
The reason we have the tilty, blurry photo of the sinister tree: I was taking the picture while Hudson was in the first phase of a cow horse one-foot spin and bolt. Or, if we prefer in dressage lingo, a pirouette at the hand-gallop.
Something WAS wrong. The tree looked like one half was attacking the other half. There were a lot of branches bending, bobbing, whipping up, wildly thrashing…this was one heck of a freaked out tree.
I got off Hudson and we walked cautiously back. The tree stopped moving.
Uh, trees do not stop thrashing around when they hear hooves. I suddenly realized no breeze had made it thrash around in the first place. The air was utterly still.
Cue spooky music. Forget Hudson. I was ready to jump out of my skin.
I get back on, we tiptoe past the tree, which remains perfectly still. Hudson’s ears swivel back questioningly: What the heck was that all about?
I pat him on the shoulder: Don’t know. You sure were good though, thanks.
I can feel his mental shrug, and we go to work in the arena. Once he’s done for the day, and settled back into his paddock with The Worlds Largest Happy Meal, I walk back to the access road. I want to see if I was part of a mass hallucination, or the tree is perfectly ordinary.
It’s not. The willow is wildly attacking itself. Is there a gap in the time/space continuum here? Did we fall through a worm hole? Other than tree noises, there are no sounds. No children are playing in the greenery.
Suddenly, a large roundish white thing falls out of the tree with a loud thud. Bizarre fruit? Branches tremble above where it landed. The tall grass rustles and I hear the unmistakable sound of tiny hooves scrambling as a small white goat launches itself back into the branches. A second later, a gray round thing falls out, scrambles, and leaps back into the tree to continue play fighting.
An hour later, I see a herd of little goats quietly grazing in the tall grass near the tree. The willow was able to completely camouflage 15 tumbling, rambunctious goats.
A Goat Tree. I love my life.
I told Hudson goats grow on trees. And that our Goat Tree had fruit just about ripe enough to start falling to the ground, and goats being goats, they thrash.
He gave me a dubious look.
“Could be worse?”, I say. “They could have planted llamas.”
Happy Birthday, Hudson!
Hudson got a cell phone for his birthday. After our Colic Camping episode, I wanted him to be able to get ahold of me immediately. This is how parents end up giving iPhones to a kindergartener, isn’t it?
He hasn’t come to terms with the fact he already HAS his present.
…happy birthday to you!
That little guy? Our tiny Murphy?
Happy Birthday to my niece and God mare, Barbie!
Heroic Act #1:
A body was sprawled out in the grassy lanes between the paddocks, a large hat knocked off to one side. I recognize the hat. It’s John’s. He’s not moving.
If I had not been leading a very excited horse down this hill, I wouldn’t have had the vantage point to see him in the tall grass at the bottom.
I call out his name. No answer. Horse feels my nerves and begins to try the whole “I am a Dervish” thing, on the line, ensuring I can’t run straight down, or John will get trampled. I yell for trainer and co-worker, shouting “John is down! I think he’s hurt, HELP! Paddocks!!”
They run out of the barn, closer to him than I am, and like good horse people, instantly read my body language, following my line of sight, know where he is before I say a word. I whip out my phone and start to punch in 911.
This is how John was rescued from a nice nap in the sun, in the grass, near his beloved horses.
I am a hero.
We’re calling it a safety drill, FYI.
Heroic Act #2:
Last night, in my dream, I finished bagging Hudson’s Happy Meals for the week. (Okay, aside: who the heck dreams about bagging grain?) I was suddenly, in the way of dreams, standing on my front porch: halter to clean in one hand, turning the key in the lock with the other. I open the door and am faced with a very large mountain lion. One pacing and eyeballing Husdon’s good leather halter in my hand. It smells like horse. The lion wants the halter.
But. But. It’s Hudson’s good halter…(horse people are unbelievably stubborn)
lt still takes a slight amount of stalking behavior from the mountain lion in my kitchen, to convince me I probably should hand over the halter if I want to live.
I do. Resentfully.
The dream should end here. Smart people’s dreams end here. (The horse person lives, buys a new halter, the mountain lion has a light nosh on sweaty leather. Win win. Right?)
Instead, I follow the lion as it stalks out of the house, halter in mouth. Somewhat safety conscious, I stay back at least six whole feet. The lion doesn’t think six feet is enough. We stare at each other.
I am not a brave person. But dang it. It’s Hudson’s good halter. Why didn’t I grab a can of tuna? Bait and switch. Too late.
What do I do? Dart forward and snatch the halter from the lion’s mouth.
The lion flattens his ears and hisses, begins to whip his tail. I immediately come to my senses and hurl the halter back at him. He picks it up, and turns to walk away.
Unbelievable! I run up and snatch it away again. I am highly aware this is a very very bad idea.
So I throw it back again.
I woke up on the third mad dash to steal the halter back.
Can we say: “Jane has problems letting go?“
I could understand this dream if the lion wanted Hudson. I can see becoming uncharacteristically brave if I were trying to rescue my beloved horse. But…a halter…?
Since I was uncharacteristically brave in the face of a mountain lion (over a stupid halter), I’m sticking to “I am a Hero”.