The first horse drawing in a series
T he summer when we were ten, my friend Chris and were visiting my dad on his farm. On the last night before we had to go back to the city, and school, we went riding at our neighbor’s. Her name was JJ, and she was, I think, the very first girl I ever kissed (or was Chris’s sister Terri my first kiss? I can’t remember. Sorry gals.)
Inexplicably, Chris ended up riding with JJ, (curse him) but predictably, he ended up in a crash that’d have made NASCAR proud.
Cue the “oh-oh” Music
We were in a plowed field a mile or so from JJ’s house. It was getting dark, and I was getting bounced pretty soundly on my horse, so I didn’t see what happened, but it sounded like this:
JJ: “What are you doing?!”
Chris: “I’m falling off!”
JJ: “Well stop it!”
Chris: “I’m trying!”
JJ: “Quit screwing around!”
Chris “I’m slipping!”
JJ: “Get back up here!”
JJ: “You’re scaring the horse!”
Chris: “HELP ME JJ!!”
JJ: “Let go! You’re pulling me off too!”
There was the unmistakable sound of friend hollering in freefall, followed by the whump of impact with top soil. Next JJ put together a string of peppery language. Then their horse said something uncalled for and took off.
My horse thought this was interesting, so it stopped bouncing me on its back like a paddleball and sauntered over to inspect the wreckage. JJ was still letting the hot language rip, and now she was punctuating her comments with slaps around Chris’s head and neck.
As best as I could piece together from JJ’s shouted recriminations and Chris’s sputtered excuses, he began to slide to port, and not seeing any better options, he clung to JJ and over they went.
Being a thorough sort of chap, Chris ended up upside down, underneath the horse, on his head. JJ decided that there was no use both of them falling on their heads, so she decided to fall on Chris’s head too.
There was some mild trampling, and Chris’s mouth got packed pretty good with dirt, and those slaps looked like they stung, but overall, they were both okay.
JJ decided that there was no use BOTH of them falling on their heads, so she decided to fall on Chris’s head too.Click to tweet
“Alright, you boneheads…” JJ said.
“Boneheads?! What’d I do?” I yawped.
“YOU brought this bonehead over to visit!” JJ snapped.
“She’s got you there…” Chris said.
JJ clipped both of us and said: “We’ve got to go find that horse!”
I glanced over at my horse, who snorted and gave me a very distinct “Don’t look at me; YOU lost him” look.
“Hey!” Chris said. “Where’s my shoe?!”
“On your foot?” I said, helpfully.
“It’s gone!” he said.
“Did you have it on when you came out here?” JJ said, and I thought I detected the sarcastic note.
“Of course I did!” Chris said.
“Well then I guess it’s still on the horse…” she said, in that tone women use when addressing simpletons.
“Why would the horse take Chris’s shoe? Don’t horses have their own shoes?” I said, and I could tell the joke was a mistake when JJ wound up and punched me in the shoulder, right in that terrible spot that all girls seem to be able to hit.
“I mean it must’ve got stuck in the stirrup or something. And who cares about your friggin shoe? We need to get dad and get him to help find that horse!” JJ said.
We got JJ’s dad, and after a couple of hours stumbling around in the dark, we found the horse, but we never did find the shoe, which was unfortunate for Chris, as he had to start grade 5 the next day without it!
Despite JJ’s assertion that no one cared about the shoe, Chris’s mom cared very deeply about it, at least judging by the trouble he got into…
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Owen On Working
“I either work, or don’t work; I don’t do well if I dabble.
If I’m drawing, I can’t be distracted with phone calls, business meetings, or anything that isn’t directly related to the paper in front of me.
It doesn’t happen by accident, it has to be managed and planned out in advance, and all of the people around me have learned to allow for it, and know how to deal with whatever pops up.
However this has become a big issue since I became a Dad; my output has dropped precipitously…but Lego time has skyrocketed!
I figure I’ll be a crabby old man for a lot longer than I’ll be the Father of Little Boys, and I mean to get the most out of it.”
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