Homeland Farm

Homeland Farm

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Uncle never missed a trick...

      My cousin Zenya lived next door to us growing up, and often came over for cookouts, sleepovers, homemade root beer, and especially horse back riding. Like most teenage girls in the 1970's, we loved Donny Osmond and horses, spending equal time perusing "Teenbeat" magazine and riding. She would come over and we would saddle up, sometimes riding way down in the woods, and other times just taking a quick ride around the pasture and field.
      One fine spring day, Zenya and I knew it was a little too early to be taking the horses out in the big field for a ride. The ground was still soft and hadn't dried up yet from all the winter snow. But it was such a nice day, and no one was home, so what better time to do something you know you aren't supposed to do. At least that is what Zenya and I thought  as we saddled up the horses and lead them out on the spongy lawn. We thought that if we just took them out for a short ride and  kept them off the lawn, that it should be fine and no one would be the wiser.
      So, we set off along the back of the field, just trotting and cantering a little to get the horses legs, and our butts back into the swing of things after a long winter free from riding. As we  turned the corner of the back field, and headed toward my grandparents house, I thought I saw movement in their garage. I thought no one was home there either, when we set out on our ride, or at least I had HOPED no one was home.
      Oh, it wasn't my grandparents I worried about. No, it was someone much more formidable. It was my Uncle Billy who lived there with them. He saw all. If the horses were out, we would find out from him. If a stall door had blown shut, he would be the one to call and tell us. If the eggs were still in the nest from yesterday, he knew about it. He had this knack of knowing everything at all times. That wouldn't have been bad in itself, but once he knew, everybody knew. And he would remind you about it for a very long time. Yes, he knew all....and never forgot.
      So, as Zenya and I trotted along the fence line toward his house, I was very concerned. If my parents found out we were riding when they weren't home, we would be, well, I would be in trouble. I told Zenya we better step it up a bit in case it was him. I had a nice, pleasant vision in my head of us cantering around the end of their house and back to the barn with no one finding out. Alas, it was not meant to be.
      As I cantered past the end of their house, I caught a glimpse of white tee shirt, and knew my Uncle was indeed in the garage. I made it out of sight myself, turned in my saddle and motioned wildly for Zenya to hurry up and get Ebony out of his line of vision before they were seen.
     In her hurry to comply and get out of my uncles view, Zenya pulled Ebony off our beaten path, and into..The Forbidden Zone. What exactly is the Forbidden Zone, you ask? It was my grandparents septic tank. Zenya yelled, Ebony grunted and then sat down right on her haunches and skidded the entire length of the wet, juicy septic tank. Clumps of mud, new green grass, and spring runoff went flying everywhere. I can still see the horrified expressions of both horse and rider as they skidded about 15 feet in the muck.
      Glancing over Zenya's shoulder in the few seconds it took for this tragedy to take place, I caught a glimpse of my uncle peering around the edge of the garage. I couldn't tell exactly what he was saying, because as you can imagine, a huge horse skidding through a septic tank does indeed make quite a bit of noise. I could tell however, that his lips were moving and he was doing some serious gesturing.
      Ebony suddenly regained her footing and I yelled, "Let's get out of here", and we took off for home as fast as possible, not stopping to examine the damage. I look back now and think, Where did we think we were going to go, for goodness sake? He knew where we lived..Back at the corral, Ebony had mud caked all over her belly and legs, and some had spattered over her head and back as well. Zenya had mud all over her legs, arms and even her face. We hurried the horses into the barn, and washed and scraped Ebony down, glancing nervously out the window toward my grand parents house, where we could see my uncle out inspecting the mud pit that was once his septic tank.
      Once Ebony was washed and dried, and Zenya had washed the dirt off her legs with a hose, we decided we should fortify ourselves with homemade root beer and then go see about the mess. We took our shovels and snuck up to their house along the roadside, trying to keep hidden as much as possible. Once there, we could not believe our eyes.
      Ebony had plowed up two trenches, about 6 inches deep, and fifteen feet long. Clumps of grass and mud were everywhere. Hurrying as fast as possible, we filled the holes with dirt and replaced the sod as best we could, feeling the eerie sensation of someone watching us. Finished, we turned and started to head home, when suddenly we could hear snippets of conversation from the house. Apparently, my grandparents had returned home from town and good ole Uncle Billy was filling them in on what had happened while they were gone.." Riding too early...damn horse sat right down...tore it all to hell..trenches thirty feet long..."
     After that, we laid low for awhile. Until, the next time......
Two modern day riders..free from septic tank goo..Brogan riding Amira and Cliffy riding Azura

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