Sweet Mahonia

It is not recommended that you should stand directly in front of a horse at any time, but I was trying to open a gate to let Mahonia into the tall fresh grass. I fiddled with the latch, with the gate behind me, the horse in front, and the fence to the right, when M’Donna decided to push her way through between Mahonia and the fence — to get some of that grass for herself.

So I stepped over to my right (facing the two horses) placed my hand on M’Donna’s chest, and with a good strong push I ordered her to back off.

Did I mention that M’Donna is as big as a house almost? Or at least a small draft horse. But very much more athletic.

What I didn’t see was Postdoc, who loves Mahonia and will not permit any other horse to come near her. Postdoc was coming up from behind with a nasty expression on her face, and so M’Donna had to decide whether to back off, as I ordered her to do, or fly forward away from the attack of Postdoc.

Postdoc is also bigger than I am.

We would have been OK even so, because I by this time I was already stepping back to the other side of Mahonia, when M’Donna’s foot came down on top of mine, pinning me there. I did try to get away. I got most of my foot out, but not the toes, or the shoe, and the shoe was attached to my foot.

The picture that flashed through my mind was of all of her enormous four legs (it was a movie picture, and her back legs really are as long as I am tall), entangling in my body as she flew forward; there was no doubt she was going forward and I was standing on the only place that she could go and her front foot wouldn’t lift off mine until after her back feet had hit the ground in front of them and pushed off again. And here they come!

Of course I didn’t actually THINK. A person can’t think as fast as a horse can move (really, that’s true). I just left my foot where it was and threw the rest of myself into the only space available — directly under Mahonia. Good old girl. She stood over me as solid and protective as any mother, until M’Donna got off my foot and I pulled the two parts of myself back together and slowly upright.

And this sort of thing, folks, is why I want you to WEAR REAL SHOES AND LONG PANTS if you come to visit me at home.

And then of course there are the snakes, but that’s another story.

Not to mention fire ants and killer bees.

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