Saturday, September 10, 2011

Making New Friends

Let me start by saying that this is a true story. Lest you doubt that these things actually happen to me, I point you to Exhibit A.

This morning when I woke up, I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to do: appointment for Bijoux first on the agenda, then off to Richwood for an auction. I have to admit that I really attend auctions as much for the people watching as for the items, which are generally above my budget.

I was looking forward to visiting the auction.

Good news for Bijoux and me, her cancer is Stage Two, which can be managed – yippee!!! A thousand stones removed from the weight on my shoulders. After receiving the vet’s report, I deposited Bijoux at home and headed north to Richwood, poking along the entire way, and stopping at a couple of garage sales here and there.

It’s actually been a while since I’ve been to the Richwood Fairgrounds, where the auction was taking place. I located my turn-off, and pulled onto the dusty lane leading back to the show buildings, but I was befuddled at a fork in the road. The path to the right seemed correct, so off I went. However, it wasn’t too long before I realized I was off course and if I didn’t turn around, I would end up doing laps around the race track.

Around these parts, horse power refers to the four-legged kind, not the all-wheel drive kind.

Just then an older fellow motioned me to stop. “You lost?” he asked, purely rhetorically.

“Yes,” I answered, “I was trying to get to the auction.”

The gentleman in question was tall and lean, and in his youth was probably described as sinewy, though Father Time had tugged his skin downward, and softened his muscles considerably. Still, I had no doubt he maintained a good deal of strength, especially for a man of his age.

Some champion race horses live beyond this door...

“Forget the auction,” he said, leaning in through my passenger window, “Come on in here and take a look at my filly.”

Hmmm, was this some sort of countrified version of “Come on up and have a look at my etchings?”

I began to hem and haw, and explain how I was really just here to see the auction, and it wasn’t necessary to look at his – or any other – filly.

If this trailer's rockin', don't come a-knockin'???

“Come on, now,” he commanded me, “I haven’t got all day.”

Well, when you put it that way

Still, something caused me to pull over – engine still running – and follow him into the barn. And that was when I got schooled on the art of horse racing. You see, John, my new friend, really did want to show me his filly. And she was a beauty! In fact, there were about a half-dozen horses in total in residence, and he lead me down the line, introducing each and every one of them and encouraging me to rub their baby soft muzzles. It was sheer joy!

Allow me to introduce you to Laggy...

About the time we had reached the end of the run and had returned to the open stable door, an old pick-up truck rattled around the corner.

...and this gal's name is Pretty.

“That’s my ride,” John said. And with no further conversation, he hopped into the passenger side, the truck lurched away, and I was left standing in the barn. Just me and the fillies.

Where the fillies hang out.

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