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Amusing the Kids in Wild West Style

My daddy was my hero. No question about it. In honor of Father’s Day, I share this story of Daddy and my younger cousins who referred to him as their Uncle Watters. At the time of this story, Mary Lou had not learned to walk and Ava Jo toddled around trying to keep up with her very young older brother, Bill.

As Daddy rounded the corner to Uncle Toots and Aunt Mary’s house, he probably almost had a heart attack. Not wanting to startle the albino mare munching grass in the yard, he quietly climbed out of his truck and slowly walked to the yard. “What are you doing, Barbie?” he inquired. Proudly, I replied, “I’m entertaining the kids.” (“And doing a darn good job, too!” I thought to myself.)

On the back of the untrained mare with no rope, no blanket, and no saddle sat Bill, Ava Jo, and Mary Lou. Eyes shining brightly — little faces beaming broadly, they clearly relished my great idea. To the dismay of all of us, Daddy cautiously lowered one child at a time to the ground and ushered them away from the hooves of the horse. His explanation? “Barbie, this mare has not been gentled. She has never had anything — not even a blanket on her back. She doesn’t even have a rope around her neck. An untrained horse thinks like a horse. If the kids had annoyed her, she might have bolted. Your idea of fun could have hurt the kids.

Fortunately, no one got hurt. However, I could not find anything to satisfy the children that equaled their thrill of sitting on that white mare. Looking back, I feel very thankful that those cute little kids with their big Farnum eyes remained safe — in spite of my great idea.

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