I went along because I had to, being too young to stay home by myself. You would think there would be a lot on a farm to occupy me, but there really wasn't. The yard around the house was huge, so I'd go out there and wander around if the weather was nice. I tried climbing some trees once, until I encountered a bull snake in one of the branches, then I never did that again. There was a barn, but the barnyard was fenced in and guarded by a bull who was perpetually pissed off because there were no other cows around. I guess he had a case of blue balls all of the time. And there was a smoke house and an equipment garage and a hen house. All pretty boring shit.
But they did have a horse. His name was Blaze (for a white mark on his muzzle), and he wasn't good for much besides just being there. He was broke and all, but I don't think either Granddad or Loma rode him much, except for just exercise once in a while. Every time we went out to the farm, I had hopes that they would get him out and let me ride him. But they never did.
However, one Sunday in the early summer, old Troy must have been feeling magnanimous towards his black sheep grandson and asked me if I wanted to ride him. He got him out of the barn and saddled him up and told me to climb up. Well, I had never been real close to Blaze before, and it turned out that he was at least two stories tall. But with a little help, I managed to get my foot in a stirrup and hauled my fat ass into the saddle. After a half minute of reign instruction, the horse headed out on the dirt road that ran in front of the house.
We trotted down the road. And trotted ... and trotted ... and trotted. Because Blaze wouldn't do anything else. Blaze wouldn't turn left, he wouldn't turn right. He wouldn't speed up, he wouldn't slow down, and he wouldn't stop. No matter how much I yanked the reigns, or dug my heels into his flanks, or yelled at him, he just kept on keepin' on. Right down the road.
Then at a tree beside the road, which must have been a predetermined marker for the horse, he abruptly turned around and started back, with no help from me. And again, no matter how much I yanked, kicked and screamed, he serenely trotted back to the farm house yard, turned in and stopped. And that was the end of the ride.
On the way home that evening, I was bitching about the horse not doing what I wanted it to, and my Mom told me I was lucky that I hadn't been hurt, because she thought Blaze was a mean animal. And this turned out to be true. About 5 years later, Loma was out riding Blaze in a pasture when it threw her. She broke her leg and pelvis, and since my Granddad was in Bolivar that afternoon, shooting the shit with his cronies, she had to crawl the mile back to the house and summon help from there. If nothing else, she was a tough old bird.
Being up there in years, it took Loma a long while to recover, but she eventually started walking around again, albeit not as well as she did before being thrown. One day, when Troy went over to Bolivar for another one of his good old boy gatherings, Loma took the Army 45 that he had brought home from the Great War, hobbled out to the barn and shot Blaze straight between the eyes.
I wish there had been a more pleasant end to this story, but sometimes farm life is not all chickies and duckies and sunflowers swaying gently in the summer breeze.
Sometimes there's a good dose of frontier style revenge.