I call them Dumb and Dumber. Their real names are Gizmo and Dallas, and they’re just colts – 2 ½ years and 8 months old, respectively. They live in a 13-acre pasture with a few older horses. My husband and I built our house in the middle of that pasture because I love being able to step outside and have our small herd walk up to me.
Call me crazy.
The first hint of trouble was the water-sprinkler incident. My husband had built a 5-foot-tall sprinkler capable of wetting down a fair bit of real estate. The first day he set it up, Dumb and Dumber came by to check it out. I sat quietly by the faucet, unnoticed, as they inched up to the sprinkler, necks stretched and noses twitching.
As they began to feel more at ease with it, sassy, even, I waited patiently for just the right moment.
It came when Gizmo took a wee nibble of the sprinkler mechanism. I twisted the spigot handle and the sprinkler sputtered to life, belching air and water. Gizmo jumped straight up, then took off, ears back and hind legs kicking. Dallas followed suit.
I stood there, grinning smugly. That should teach them not to mess with it. I let the sprinkler run for several hours, turning it off when I headed out to town.
As I drove away, a small voice inside my head said: Warning! Warning! I stopped by the road to take a last, uneasy look at the colts. They stood watching me. Was that a sparkle of revenge I saw in their eyes?
When I returned home several hours later, the sprinkler as we’d known it was gone. It wasn’t just knocked over; it was stomped into a mudhole, bent beyond recognition, completely demolished. As I gaped at it, Dumb and Dumber sauntered by, ears flipped back, and tails cocked. Gizmo, the typical rebellious “teenager,” sported a “so there” attitude. Dallas kept glancing back with an “oh man she’s gonna kill us” look in his eye.
For a moment, I considered it.
Had I known this was just the beginning, I might’ve taken it even more seriously. It seemed nothing was safe from those two. I’d find barely recognizable girths and halters that they’d snatched out of the bed of our pickup while no one was looking and trampled in the driveway. Seed sacks that’d fluttered in the breeze while we loaded the hopper of the spreader would later be found in tattered pieces all over the yard. The casualty list was endless.
Then came the coup de grâce. We’d bought the prettiest little convertible, blue with a white cloth top. My husband had found it and, at the asking price, figured it would be the perfect first car for our oldest daughter. (But, as she was only 13, we decided we’d drive it for her until she was old enough for a license. Parents are considerate that way.) Knowing the predations of Dumb and Dumber, we set up an electric fence around the car. The first time the colts got zapped by it, I knew I’d made my point. Finally, we’d reached an understanding.
Until the night the power went out. I woke up the following morning to no lights, no bath, and – worst of all – no coffee. Without caffeine, it took several moments for the realization to hit me. No power meant . . . no electric fence!
I sprinted to the door and flung it open. The wire of the enclosure was lying on the ground, broken in several places. And the car . . .
There were bite marks and scratches all over the hood and trunk. The lovely cloth top lay in shreds on the ground. I figure the colts must’ve gotten into a tug-of-war with it – there’s no other way to explain the damage. And then the little monsters had the audacity to stand there looking at me with their big brown eyes, bobbing their heads sweetly. I turned around, slunk inside, and crawled back under the covers.
My husband was going to kill me.
In fact, he never did say anything, except to remark it’d probably be a good idea to fence the house off from the horses. We also decided we were through with colts for awhile. We’d get these two raised and then, no more.
My husband just came across the most beautiful Paint colt – and couldn’t resist. We brought him home and named him Elvis because of this lip thing he does when you scratch his withers. He’s tall and gentle and (gro-o-o-an) just 1 ½ years old. We had him gelded, and have put him in isolation while his incision heals and his hormones settle down. I can’t wait to start working with him.
As I look out the window, though, a shiver of fear runs down my spine. I see Dallas and Gizmo looking at him. Sizing him up. Elvis whinnies and trots around, anxious to join them. An image of the Three Stooges flashes into my mind.
Yep, there’s Larry , Moe, and Curly, nose to nose.