Ride ’em CowRuth!


Yippie ki yi yay

My dad was a wheeler-dealer.  When I was a little girl, he worked for TVA.  Sometimes the job took him so far away from home that he was only home on the weekends.  He’d come home Friday evening and be gone again on Sunday afternoon.  He usually had a different watch or pocketknife when he came home.  He was like Tom Sawyer, always trading up. 

Once he got a pony for us.  I don’t know the circumstances of the deal, but I for one was darned excited to have a pony.  It was every little girl’s dream-come-true.  Her name was Happy, and she turned out to be the meanest pony that ever lived.  You couldn’t walk directly behind her, because she was a clever girl and waited until you were in the perfect position, and then she’d strike out with those hind hooves.  She had a beautiful kick, poised forward on her front legs, and both hind legs working together as one lethal weapon.  I was scared of her. 

After we got her, we were at Grandma Packett’s house.  Her house was surrounded by barbed-wire fencing, which we elegantly referred to as “bob wahr”.  I guess the reasoning for riding Happy there was that she would be completely fenced in.  It was my turn to ride, and I’d never ridden alone.  My grandmother, my father, my mother, my brother Steve, and my little sister Becky were there.  I remember sitting on Happy, nudging her sides with my heels to get her to start.  She wouldn’t go.  And then she decided to rare back on her hind legs, taller and taller, until she fell over backwards with me still in the saddle.  I remember that I landed on my back with her right between my little twig legs.  I was screaming, my mother was screaming, my father was scrambling trying to control the situation, and I was not loving this pony. 

My father got things under control, he got Happy back on her feet,  and he put my screaming self back on the pony.  “NO NO DADDY I’M AFRAAAAIIIIID!!”  My mother was frantically trying to convince him “NO ROY SHE’S AFRRRAAAIIIDD” that I was too afraid, which I was, and if the truth be known, she was probably very afraid too.  For as long as I knew her, Mom was afraid of everything.  She was probably envisioning squashed bodies and headline action for our local paper.  I really don’t remember what happened after that – I suppose I have blocked it psychologically. 


I lived to ride another day. I don't look convinced that this is safe. See my little hand patting evil Happy? Nervous little patting...

After that, Mom never let us ride unless Dad was around.

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4 Responses to “Ride ’em CowRuth!”

  1. kari Says:

    This had me laughing out loud!! Maybe she was afraid he would hit you and the head and…….

    ok~ I am seriously really really tired.


  2. Becky Says:

    Now maybe I know where my fear of horses came from. I don’t remember this happening, but I read that I was there…Nervous little patting, indeed! And could that be a fine short set made by Grandma Packett you have on?


    • ruthrawls Says:

      I couldn’t figure out how to work in the play clothes made by Grandma Packett. So thanks! That was a nice segue!
      I’m guessing you had to be there. We were always together.


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