Sunday, January 29, 2012

An Evening at “The Not So O.K. Corral.”

Cindy and I were settling down, early in the evening Friday night, while Caleigh was at a friend’s having a sleepover. We were both reclining on the sofa, and each browsing the internet on our own laptops, ah romance. As the phone rang, someone knocked on the door, Cindy got the phone, I got the door. Opening the door at our house requires agility, one opens the door about 45 degrees blocking any exit with their body position, and with their non weight bearing leg they extend it backwards. The backward thrust should always be no higher than 8 to 10 inches, roughly the height of a domesticated, well roughly the height of a Corgi. Then 6 seconds later lift your leg up another 8 to 10 inches,, or roughly the height of an Australian Blue Sheppard. This gives you 15 seconds of quiet while you look, and allows you to say ”Bon Jour” which then just whips the little dears into a greeting frenzy.
It was two of the local Gendarmerie, I smiled an offered them to come in out of the cold weather, and into our freezing house, well the kitchen was warm thanks to the fire in the fireplace. Cindy was off the phone quickly with our friends, Dominique and Patricia, telling Cindy that the Gendarmeries were en route. As they enter the house I lie that the two dogs are “Good” dogs, and I am truthful they don’t bite. Meanwhile Holly the wannabe Corgi is rapidly shining up the toe of the officer’s boot with her tongue. As I point to the fireplace indicating they could stand in warmth, they oblige; which gives me a millisecond to shuttle-board the faux Corgi with my foot across the kitchen tile floor. The conversation was in French, well theirs was, ours was Franglish, but I will write it in English, well American I guess.
“Good evening, do you own horses?”. The senior one asked. The man was late 20’s (Three chevrons on his sleeves) and his partner was a kind looking young lady.(Two chevrons on her sleeves, and a croissant eating badge on her lapel.)
“Why yes, we have no horses.” I say in complete control of the language, in the background Cindy says a simple “Oui” (That means Oui in French)
“Are they in their enclosures at the moment?”
“I believe that they are, is there a problem?”
“There were some horses on the main road to Saint Foy, right down the road”
So we all head outside and they inquire which pasture are they in. The guy has this really powerful handheld flashlight and starts scanning the adjacent pastures. I indicate they have worked their way to the pasture by some vines and an adjacent forest.
“I will go check, is that O.K.?” My mind was racing (Yeah I don’t even want to hear the word “Oxymoron”) I was trying to think the last time I was outside or the last time I saw them, it was today, then I went in to the Dear God matrix.
I dash back inside to grab a couple small flashlights, one as a backup, and stop at the barn to disconnect the electric fence power. Then I muck my way to their last grazing place. The weather has been cold, but not cold enough to freeze the pastures just me; so of course I’m hiking a kilometer in something that rhymes with mucking muck. I arrive to the spot that I’ve deduced the little horses ass, I mean the four horses and an ass would naturally attempt something stupid. Yep the electric fence is cut right there, and no it doesn’t bother me that I’ve gone through the same thought process as a horse. I can make out three horses of to the side of our pasture, so two are still AWOL. I look into the neighboring vines and see two distinct shadowy shapes; I make my way across their flank and manage to get slightly to the side of JOJO.
“Hey boy, easy there, that’s it J0J0” I slowly get a grip on his halter and walk him back to the pasture. He hesitates slightly as we come up on the wire on the ground; even in the dark he is aware of the wire. I step on it calmly and lean slowly forward, he crosses. The remaining ass (literally) meanders along following us then the trot off to group with the other truant creatures.
“Hey Cindy,, yeah I got them back in, they all walk 0.K. I’m heading back.” I end the call on my cell phone and head back after reconnecting the electric fence with the two pairs of pliers from my back pocket.
I return to the kitchen where its warm and take off my thick work coat to warm up.
“So they looked alright?” Cindy asks, looking relieved.
“Yeah, they’re all in, like I said.”
“You couldn’t tell which one hit the car?” She lost the relieved look pretty quickly.
“Hit the car; where did that come from?”
“They said that, can you go check?”
“That weird, hit a fucking car, do you mean hit by a car?”
“I’m positive, can you go check?” she implores.
“Of course, really, hit a car? Jeeze.” I put my still cold coat on and grab the two flashlights. Outside in the cool night air I see that Patrick (The owner of three horses and the ass) has arrived, then the senior Gendarme has decided to join us for the “All Creatures Great and Small” production. I always thought, how romantic horses running free in the pastures, turns out priority number one, two, and three is the absolute importance of fencing, not the goofy looking guys in the white leotards, beehive repair headsets and car antenna’s kind either. As I re-muck up the pasture I’m sure the horse were laughing as they heard me muttering in the mucking muck. “How the hell can a horse hit a car?’ As I looked up the hill I could swear that two specific horses were doing the Ferrari logo silhouette, and high fiving, well high one-ing each other.
We arrive in the dark corral, the horses are milling about kind of looking at each other, Patrick gets in the group, and they all kind of drop their heads in guilt. He inspects them all as best as he can and determines that his kids are alright. Then while I’m holding J0J0’s halter, he raises up one two hind feet, I release the halter as I’m a foot off the ground fearing the worst, and he takes off in a cloud of dust with the others following suit. O.K. I guess we’re done here, so we muck back down the pasture to the warmth of the kitchen. (Turns out the horses were fine, they never made it near the road as all attached pastures were also double fenced and wired.)
As the Gendarmerie’s are finishing things up, I make them some coffee, the senior one politely says
“No thank you.”
“Tea, Coke-Cola, then Vodka.” I offer again.
“Ah Vodka, parfait.” The senior Gendarme smiles.
We kind of chuckle as Holly is walking around and on their feet, while he starts talking to his partner.
“Would it be possible to borrow your 45 and one cartridge for one second, then I can take care of the bothersome dog by your feet?” I ask as he notices the dog.
“Hank, leave my Holly alone!” Cindy implores for the thousandth time since we’ve gotten the little treasure.
He looks at me briefly and continues talking to his partner and looking at her. Then I swear to God, his hand slowly and deliberately drops to his side, he unclips the holster catch and coolly lifts up his 45 and extends his hand toward me with the barrel pointed down, still looking at his partner and talking about their report, he then pauses.
“Only one cartridge” He says smirking towards me.