Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fatal Attraction

Echinacea purpurea 'Fatal Attraction'

The ever widening fascination with the beauty of plants is a constant source of entertainment. If it were not for the development of digital cameras, we petal and leaf addicts would surely go bankrupt over the cost of film.

Is this digital? No! I must have several thousand dollars invested in the bin of photos I harbor in the closet. Eighty percent or better in that Rubbermaid bin are photos of plants and flowering scenes. Not all of them are good shots though, so why I am still holding onto them is curious. I suppose it is a memory even if it would be judged poor photography by others.

Perhaps it is a fatal attraction of sorts. The hesitancy to discard the past has some foundation. Like a distant memory there a scenes that are hazy, blurred and wrongly lit ... unworthy of sharing past shuffling through the box. It takes about 2 hours to go through this collection in search of some shot remembered.

Rare pleasant mood - the only such shot ever caught.

In the process of hunting through the proof of an obsession I am reminded of Mr. Crotchety. A fine looking piece of horse flesh with the personality of a rock and demeanor of the devil. It was no wonder they retired him from racing. Smart as a whip, this fatal attraction though very well trained could do some of the most unexpected things.

A horse who thought it hilarious to stand on cat's tails and watch them writhe in agony. I kid you not the baggage could snort in definite hilarity. He would act as if he were lame if a prospective buyer came for a look. He would fall over on the blacksmith while his back was turned, hunched over with a hoof on his knee filing away. Mr. Crotchety was ever a wonder, never boring and always up to something.

Like the time he crawled under the fence and ran away from home. Eight miles away to be exact. It took two sheriff departments and 10 days to find his lousy arse. After it was all said and done, I had to ride the sidewinder all the way home on a 95 degree day. When the house finally came into view through the neighbor's orchard, the blasted jug head came to an abrupt halt. He stood there staring at what he thought to have left forever and grunted loudly. As if to say, "What ... not this place again!"

Mr. Crotchety at his finest.

The horse was so anti-social we had to give back the rescue horse we adopted as a companion. The poor old loving guy was bitten and kicked constantly, living in a nightmare. Mr. Crotchety wanted nothing but to stand in the corner of his paddock with his butt in the wind while dozing in solitaire. If he was dead set against going for a walk, he thought nothing of falling to his knees in the road while at a brisk trot. He actually knew that by bloodying his knees he could go back to the barn.

It is interesting to note that the black devil was owned by women from the minute he came off the track. Suckers for sleek muscles and flashy dressing followed one after another over the years. I bought him from a sheriff's deputy, who bought him from a judge. After 6 years of trying to make friends with him he finally picked a teenage girl to seduce with his charm.

We got a divorce, this black devil and I and for once HE paid the tab. Lured into their trailer with an armload of orchard pears, I waved goodbye to his long flowing tail as it got smaller and smaller driving away. Not one to waste time at an art, he began his treachery before the got him off the trailer. At least he behaved long enough that this poor woman managed to hand me the cash. I couldn't be of much help to her when she called to say she thought he had a broken leg. He did not ... it was part of his act.

They were not as patient as I was. Finally, Mr. Crotchety won the war of pig-headed laziness. At least I am glorified in the knowledge that it was nothing I had done. Lord knows, I was always kind and patient with him as he lashed out and acted a fool. Last I heard he was living large on a retired racehorse pasture somewhere in Kentucky. Best place for him too. No matter how much of a shyster he was - he was far too pretty for glue. The photos are the best I have of him, but they don't really do him any justice save the one where he tries to look like he will eat you if you dare get closer.



Mother Nature said...

I needed a good laugh. Cute story.

G.G. said...

You and me both Mother ... what a week. I was looking for the evil chicken eye and came up with the black devil instead. I do hope the chicken eye has not been lost somewhere! Great to see you back again.