By experience, Elmer knew it was difficult for a 6 year old to ride large farm horses. If a young boy can get on the beast, his legs will stick straight out to the side. Much like doing the splits. This means the only thing available to hang on with is a handful of horse hair. Which, of course, the horse does not encourage. Gripping with the legs is a fantasy. All this amounts to a position no human can attain.
It was a warm spring day. Elmer and his friend Eddie Playful were trying to think of something to do, it being Saturday. Eddie lived just down the road on the next farm. They were the same age and in the only kindergarten class at school. They were considered by other class mates to be best friends. Many times the idea of that classification was stretched to the limits. On this day they were at Eddie’s place trying to come up with something exciting to do. Much Later in life Elmer came to understand Eddie was a child on the wild side. If there was some mischief to get into, not only would he find it but add a little embellishment to it. They had already played “army”, shot every chicken in sight and bombed the pigs to the point they were mighty nervous. The bombs were clumps of dry dirt with some pig poo mixed in, tossed in such a manner as to “explode” on or near the pigs. Pigs are, in general, a clean animal. They do not appreciate their own poo tossed at them. Being clean was not so much a part of Elmer’s nor Eddie’s daily life.
“Lets play cowboy,” said Eddie.
“We don’t have any horses,” said Elmer.
They thought hard some more. Finally Eddie said “I got it! We can ride Pa’s horses! They’re just taking up space in the barn. He’s not using them. He bought a tractor. Pa will appreciate the fact we’re willing to give them some exercise.”
Elmer mulled that over for a second or two. “Works for me,” he said.
They ran to the barn to get the horses. ‘Get the horses’ may have been a bit ambitious. These horses were farm working types. Big, broad, not the smaller riding types. They found them inside munching on hay. Ever though they were in the barn, the horses were free to roam out into the pasture. Not having any type of halter or other gear to control the animals, and not knowing how to use them if they did, Elmer & Eddie climbed up on the feed box, leaned over and scampered on. Each on a different one. They both were scared. Now what? The horses turned their heads, looked at them as if they were flies, used their tails to swat, and went back to munching hay. About then, Elmer & Eddie noticed how far away the ground was. The horses moved! They wanted to go outside! And out they went. With Elmer & Eddie precariously perch on top.
Not having any way to control the beast, the horses went wherever they wanted and they wanted to go to the mud hole. At a trot. With Elmer & Eddie on top, bouncing like a couple of rubber balls, legs sticking straight out to the side. They stopped suddenly at the mud hole. One at a time, they fell off right into the mud. The horses laughed, the cows clapped, and it was a couple of days before the pigs stopped grinning.
By the time Elmer got home, he had quit horseback riding, studying to be a cowboy and was never fond of horses or pigs again.
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