Talk about an exciting evening! We stayed up late tonight because it’s Friday and we’re night owls. At 11:21 someone pulled into our driveway. Someone coming by unexpectedly that late at night is rarely good news, and this was no exception. It was the father of our horse friends, the Watsons, wondering if we were missing a couple of horses. Bill, who answered the door, said no, of course not. Why would we be missing any horses? “Say…what color are they?” “Black,” replied Mr. Watson. Uh oh. It suddenly occurred to Bill that we had put our goats out in the pasture earlier and when we brought them back through the gate to return them to their pen, we might, just possibly, have forgotten to close the gate.
So Bill came back in to tell me that the police had our horses rounded up down by the road. He ran up to the barn to get their halters while I changed out of my jammies (hey, it was coming up on midnight!) and ran down the road after him. You would not believe the sight that greeted us! About a quarter mile down the road from our house, in our church parking lot, were flashing lights (the police), a half dozen cars, and about a dozen people. As I got closer, a wildlife officer, who had also responded, drove by and said out his window, “Y’all lose some horses?” (Duh!) And there, about 25 yards from the busy highway, were our two fugitive horses, tied to a telephone pole.
Oh, and if all this weren’t embarrassing enough, let me remind you that we live in a small town. In addition to Mr. Watson, there were at least three other people from our church that we know well, in addition to our other neighbor, Mr. Raper, watching from his porch. Ack!
Amusing as this all was – and since it turned out okay, it is really quite amusing – it was also quite a scare. Those horses may have been out for more than two hours. They wandered a good half mile from our house, and ended up right next to a very busy highway. No one but Mr. Watson and Mr. Raper even knew we had horses; I’m not sure how Mr. Watson ended up in the mix, but thank goodness he did, otherwise who knows where Valentine and Moonshine would have ended up? (Do they have a horse “pound?”) And that’s the least scary outcome. Several people there commented on how good-looking our horses are – some less reputable person could have come along and decided they wanted them for their own. And the worst possible scenario, of course, would have been if they actually walked out on the highway and got hit.
Let me tell you, we were thanking the good Lord the whole time we were walking our runaways home. And we probably won’t forget to close that gate from now on.