Yesterday, as the weather was warm and gorgeous and I’m not riding Kip out until I can have the chiropracter look at his back, I hand-walked Kip on a long, lazy tour through town.
Normally, people smile and say hi as you ride out in a group, but you rarely get little kids wanting to pet the horses, etc. If you’re on foot, though, handwalking a horse, you’re evidently fair game. Every pony-mad little girl for miles swooped in on their bikes or from their front gardens, wanting to talk to Kip. They must have been using walkie-talkies: “Pettable horse over on Westwood Street, all units respond.” He doesn’t mind, as he likes to check everyone over for the scent of food before he ignores them. You’d have thought he was a boyband singer from all of the attention that he received from the under-tens. I expected him to start signing autographs.
Adults were quite friendly, as well. Two men who were walking up the street stopped to say hello, and we had a polite conversation about the horse.
“How tall is he?”
“About seventeen hands.”
“What’s his name?”
“Kipper, after the Thelwell cartoons.”
And so on…
…until I noticed that they were wearing nearly identical outfits: black trousers, white dress shirt, dark tie.
The alarm klaxon was going off inside my head. “ABORT! ABORT! THEY’RE RELIGIOUS TYPES, WITNESSES OR WHATEVER! ABORT, RUN RUN RUN! Oh, crap, they’re going to ask me if I’m saved or try to sell me the Watchtower or whatever…have to run…come on, Kip, spook or bite somebody or something…ABORT! ABORT! ABORT!”
I cut and practically ran away, like the cowardly cur that I am. “Well, nicetalkingtoya, got to gooooooo” fading behind me as I pulled Kip along behind me like a toy on wheels.
On the whole, I much prefer the little girls. ;)