It was a snowing, blowing kind of Northern Michigan day. Nothing out of the ordinary, just February being February. The mach force winds shifted at some point from east-northeast to north-northwest. When that happens, we get a substantial amount of drifting in the barnyard. Substantial meaning that 5′ 6″ me can barely see over the worse of them.
The logical progression of events should have been to fire up the tractor and remove the drifts before starting chores. But one can’t look into the soulful eyes of a hungry horse and tell him to wait, now can one? (See photo to the right.)
There were two large drifts blocking the gate to the horse paddock. With a scant half bale of hay weighing roughly 25 pounds balanced securely on my left shoulder, I cleared the first drift. The second drift rose well above my knees. Knowing I’d have to almost straddle it to get across, I thrust out my right leg … landing on the icy slope of the back side.
My right knee twisted sideways and my right foot lodged under the wooden fence. Hospital bill dollar signs flashed before my eyes. I laid for several minutes, hay scattered around my head, heart pounding beneath my coveralls, gingerly testing each muscle and waiting for the pain to hit. Much to my surprise, everything still worked with a minimum of discomfort. I wiggled my foot free and climbed to my feet to finish chores.
Back in the house, I stripped out of my chaff-laden clothing and headed for the shower to get rid of the rest of the hay, including that which had taken up residence in my right ear. Now here I sit, leg elevated, knee iced and rethinking the whole issue of a hungry horse with soulful eyes. You know … I think he could have waited after all.
God gave mankind a logical order of things, the Ten Commandments. When we follow them, and don’t get sidetracked by the equivalent of a set of soulful eyes, we do well. Very well. But when we decide to do things our way, we’re lucky if we don’t find ourselves sprawled and broken under a fence.