TBT - (1971) "The Trouble With Horses"

When I was very young I loved western movies and of course wanted to be a cowboy when I grew up. Playing 'cowboys and indians' as a child with my cousins was great fun until my grandmother told me to quit pointing my cap pistol at a cousin and saying: "Bang you're dead you dirty indian!". Grandma said she had Cherokee Indian blood and found my language offensive. That was a shocker - at 6 years of age I found out that I was part indian - one of the bad guys!

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest I owned lots of guns - but no horses or had even gone riding on one. Then living on the island of Utila, Honduras, in 1971 I had the opportunity to buy a couple of horses. I rationalized the purchase - that it would be good to offer horse back riding to our hotel guests. But it was really about my own life long ambition to own and ride horses. The little cowboy was still in me.

Like many things we fantasize about - it did not go well in real life. Financially or personally. Besides falling off too frequently when the horse wanted to go in a different direction then me, there was that burning sensation when the cold shower water hit my butt after a long horse ride! But the real folly was the time and money to maintain those steeds. The horse rental income was not enough to cover the 'normal horse keeping expenses' - and I had also inadvertently made myself a target for scammers.

About 6 months after buying the horses a local farmer named Flynn came to me and claimed my horses got out of their fenced pasture and then stomped into his tomato patch and ate up the red goodies. So I paid a small compensation to the farmer. But the writing was on the wall: "There will be others". That same night I went to one of the biggest, toughest, meanest of the islanders who I knew was lusting after my horses and sold them all to him - cheap.

Sure enough - the next day another native island farmer showed up at my hotel claiming a huge and valuable loss of vegetables to my bad errant horses that 'just somehow' got loose again. After patiently listening to his tale of woe, I told him that Sheldon Bodden now owned the horses and go see him about the problem.

"Be careful what you wish for - you just might get it!"