For me, it was literally life in the woods because I spent the majority of my time there. There was a little squirrel that came around regularly. Somewhere in my head I got this idea to try to get it to eat out of my hand. I would spot the little critter up in a tree, so I would grab something for it to eat and then go sit out in the middle of the backyard with my hand held out, waiting for it to come down and see what I had to offer. It never did eat from my hand, but it got pretty darn close. I don’t know what I would have actually done if it DID eat from my hand, probably freak out.
One day after lunch I wandered through the trail that went straight back through the woods to that clearing. The closer I got, it dawned on me that there were some noises ahead of me… I was a little worried about who or what might be up there, but I kept on goin’. Suddenly, there it was… a huge white horse. It was beautiful. I just stood there smiling, in awe of such a wonderful creature. I slowly walked up to it and slowly held up my hand for it to sniff. That is what my Dad had taught me to do with dogs. You show them your hand and let them sniff it,it tells them that you don’t mean any harm. I felt the warm breath of the horse on the back of my hand. I quietly giggled, it tickled. I walked closer to it, very slowly… gently running my hand along its side……then…………..BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The horse kicked me to the ground. I tried to get up and run, but it just kept kicking me. I curled up into a ball and was screaming for someone to help me. Of course no one could hear me, Mom was in the house and the house was a ways away… there was no one around. Kick after kick after kick. I was laying on my left side, my hand up over my head, crying quietly. My right leg, all the way up to my thigh hurt so bad, I wasn’t sure if I could walk. I don’t know if it was because I stopped screaming and thrashing around, or what, but the horse eventually stopped kicking me.
This is a pretty good likeness of the horse that kicked the living daylights out of me. It is actually a little on the creepy side to look at it.
I just laid there on the ground for a bit. My leg and back was hurting pretty bad. I wasn’t all that sure that I was going to be able to walk, but something told me that I couldn’t stay where I was. I was right, I wasn’t going to be able to walk on that leg and even hopping wasn’t going to work because my back hurt as well. I ended up crawling from that spot to the house. As soon as I came out of the woods and could see the house, I started crying. I was tired and so very sore. I crawled to the back door and tried to pull myself up, but couldn’t. I finally knocked on the door and waited. Mom didn’t come to the door. I knocked a little louder. Nothing. Crying, scared, sore, and worried that I was going to get into trouble because my clothes were a mess… filthy and torn here and there. I finally made it to the front of the house. Now all I had to do was make it up to the front porch. By the time I reached to door I think I may have been beyond angry and upset. I hit the door hard with my hand. I could hear Mom hurrying towards the door. As soon as I saw her, I burst into tears. At first she thought I was goofing around, then the look in her eyes told me she knew this was for real and something was REALLY wrong. I tried telling her I couldn’t walk. She kept asking why and then I showed her my leg. My pants were torn and you could see that my leg was already horrendously bruised. She picked me up and carried me into the house. After she finally got me to calm down and cleaned up, I explained to her what had happened. My biggest question….”What did I do wrong? I was nice to the horse.”
You know, that is actually a little funny to me now. Guess I got my first life lesson right then and there. Had I been more aware of things then, surely I could have imagined God bending down and whispering in my ear… “Kid, yer gonna go through life, yer gonna be nice to some people and they are going to just kick the crap outta ya, sorry, but that is just how it goes.”
I never went to the hospital or saw a doctor. I hobbled around for a few days and that was it. I did go back to that pasture, however I stayed a good distance away from that horse. I remember asking why it kicked me. He just started at me. Didn’t say a word. Not one word.