The Chronicles of Susan & Carey: The Equine, the Cougar, and the Stick
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon on the prairies of Texas. The wind was blowing forcibly from the West and the sun was hanging directly overhead casting shadows over the riders. Susan secured her feet into the stirrups and glanced over to see Carey was ready to lead the way. With reigns in hand, Carey gave a gentle nudge to her steed and indicated that she wanted to take a journey towards the rolling hills in the distance. Our riders were both expecting a calm afternoon of peace and tranquility.
Birds chirped in the distance and Susan spotted two armadillos along the winding trail. A hawk perched on the limb of a nearby maple tree – stoic, yet proud. The remaining leaves on the trees rustled slightly from the wind and an occasional lingering leaf would finally descend towards the ground. The many surrounding sounds seemed to form a symphony with the trot of the two horses.
As the sun dipped behind a fluffy cloud a cool winter breeze caught hold. At the same moment Carey’s horse stopped abruptly on the path; a bold cougar blocked their path. Carey attempted to calmly direct her horse away from the stray cat, but the horse had other plans – he wanted to bolt. The stallion reared back on its hind legs and attempted to buck the rider so it could make a hasty retreat, but Carey held on. Susan watched in amazement as her friend played her roll in an impromptu rodeo for a feline audience. One hand flailed wildly as Carey desperately held onto the bridle. The struggle only lasted seconds, but it felt like an eternity until Carey finally released her grip and was catapulted from her saddle. Fortunately she landed on her feet; regrettably, she also landed near the wild cougar.
Thinking quickly, Carey swiped a branch from a nearby tree and brandished it. Like an Amazonian warrior she screamed and whirled the stick in the air. The cougar growled once, but reluctantly withdrew. The crisis was averted and Susan helped Carey retrieve the missing equine. Breathing a collective sigh of relief, both riders returned to the trail and continued on their journey towards the setting sun.