The rain moved in about four but I didn’t bother to get up. Sunday is one of those days I had planned for the rain, had planned to write, and got all my outside stuff done in advance. The weather reports called for a light rain all day but this sounded heavy. I drifted back to sleep, lulled under by the sound of rain. At five thirty the dogs became restive so I got up and let them out. I put on clothes and boots and walked with them, in a light rain, so they would do all the things dogs are supposed to do, and not have to go out later for it. It’s a cool November day and I do not want to be out in this for very long.
After coffee I settled down and read some internet stuff, looked at some very nice photos, and made ready to write. I have a brand new short story and I like it. The first three hundred words go well. I have to name people. Viking names, I need Viking names, so… the phone rings. Vert rarely does anyone call me on my landline at nine on a Sunday morning, so I answer it. Elbow’s horses are out, and they’re just down the road, if I could drop by her place for some horse feed, surely they will follow me back, and it’s not raining nearly as hard as it was earlier.
While I’m heading down the driveway the heavens open up, and I wonder just how hard it was raining earlier. Baden road is very slippery. Mine is the first truck down the road, and there are no ruts in the fresh mud. I poke along until I get to Elbow’s place, get some horse feed in their favorite food container, and maybe in a half hour or so I’ll be home again.
The horses have discovered a house down on Stanly Road where there is very green grass growing. Diamond, the mare running the show, her daughter Mena, and Rojo the Tennessee Walker, have staked claim to the grass. I show them the feed in the back of my truck and they dutifully follow me to the end of the neighbor’s driveway. Life is good! This will take all of ten minutes or so. But at the end of the driveway they turn around and go back to the green grass. Elbow gets out of her car, I get out of my truck, and while there is torrential rain, we try to talk the horses into relocating. The horses no longer speak English, or Southern. Diamond refuses to let Elbow put a halter on her. The rain comes down in buckets. I pull the rope that’s attached to Mena’s halter but she isn’t listening to me. She stops so I have to stop too. A thousand pound hay eating machine isn’t going to be towed by an animal weighing less than a fifth of what Mena weighs. The rain comes down. Finally, Elbow gets Diamond roped, and Diamond allows Elbow to walk her towards the gate at Elbow’s place, a few hundred yards away. Mena allows me to pull her in that direction. The rain comes down. Rojo follows in front, but keeps stopping, which causes Mena to stop until Diamond moves forward again. The rain comes down. Elbow coos and coaxes and Diamond moves forward. Someone fires a gun and the horses all skitter a bit. This might end poorly. The rain comes down. Diamond moves forward and out happy little caravan moves along the muddy road.
When we get to the gate Elbow takes the horses in, and on to the paddock, and I slog back to get my truck. I think it an extraordinary bad idea to go through the gate, and into the plants pines because I might get stuck. So I continue down Stanly Road, and cut back over on the hardtop to Baden, and back to Elbow’s place, where she’s got the horses in the paddock. All we have to do now is go get her car. But nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! That would be far too simple.
Elbow wants to go look for the rope that came off Mena while they were wlaking back to the paddock. I’m a man so when I woman suggests we go down a path I think is far too muddy I cannot say anything about it. We go down the muddy path, slipping and sliding, and when we get to the gate we find the rope, and my truck gets stuck. The first rule of stuck trucks is not to make things worse. Elbow has a tractor so we can pull this thing out. It isn’t stuck bad. Someone in a truck stops and offers to help, so we say yes, and wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, I walk the few hundred yards to get Elbow’s car. I bring it back to her, and she’s to go get a chain to pull my truck out of the mud.
I’m pissed. I want to be unstuck. I get intot eh truck and rock it back and forth. First! Reverse! First! Reverse! First! Reverse! First! Reverse! I finally get it moving backwards and I’m free! I have to go through the muddy path through the planted pines, but I’m dons screwing around. Nothing going fifty miles an hour gets stuck! I fishtail and skid, but stuck I do not get. I actually make it back to Elbow’s house before she does. She pulls up looking all bewildered and I say, “Didn’t you mention something about breakfast?”
It stops raining.