The boy had just turned 14. He was old enough to know better.
Banner was a beautiful buckskin colt just a few months old. The boy loved that little colt. He was the first to discover Banner’s birth on a chilly spring morning, and since that day they had spent every waking moment together. Hour after hour the boy would brush him and pet him, pick up his feet and clean his little hooves, and fashion his forelock just right. Banner was just as likely to follow the boy as his own mother, Babe.
And that’s why it came so easy.
The growing colt had followed the boy into the kitchen one day. Showing off … pushing the envelope just a little … that was typical of him. His mother had looked up from the sink, smiled and told him to wait right there while she got the camera. He still has that little black and white photo around somewhere. That proud little colt with his head held high, standing in the doorway by the stove.
A few days later the boy was home all by himself. What exactly went through his mind we will never know.
After all, Banner had been a kitchen guest just a few days earlier and his mother hadn’t specifically told him he shouldn’t do it again. She had even stopped peeling potatoes to get the camera!
So there they were … the two of them, back in the kitchen, all alone. Just a few more steps around the kitchen table and they were in the dining room. The colt seemed a little nervous at the sound of his hooves on the hardwood floor, but the boy spoke to him in soothing tones and he calmed right down.
So far so good.
They both looked around at the dining room like they were seeing it for the first time. Banner WAS seeing it for the first time, and to him, it looked very confining and slippery. The boy noticed how small the biggest room in the house suddenly appeared. But things seemed to be going quite well, so they headed for the STAIRCASE.
Ears straight forward, eyes darting, the colt followed at the end of the lead rope, the boy coaxing him one step at a time. Just a few more steps and they were on the staircase. More noisy hardwood. Much more confining than the dining room. But up they went … clop clop clop … all the way to the top of the stairs. Hmmm …the ceiling seemed much lower than the boy remembered it. They stopped for a moment on the landing to compose themselves.
It was taking a little more smooth talk to get Banner’s attention now. But the boy pulled the colt toward his room. Banner sort of danced sideways across the landing.
The boy, again pushing the envelope just the teeniest bit, led the reluctant colt into his room.
After all, this had been a big day for the little colt. Perhaps he should have a nap. Yes, a nap, that’s a good idea. I think Banner would really enjoy catching forty winks in my bed. My tiny twin size bed with the iron headboard and squeaky springs. Yeah, that’s a great idea! But how can I get him to lie down? No problem. After all I walked him into the kitchen and through the dining room and up the stairs and into my room. This should be no problem. Yep, poor thing looks a little sleepy to me.
Ears forward … nostrils flared … little sideways stiletto steps across the room.
Yeah, looks to me like he needs a little nap.
The boy calmly positioned the colt next to his bed, and slid up next to him. Slowly he leaned down, running his hands down the colt’s legs, and in a jiffy, he picked up those tiny hooves and tipped that little colt right over onto the mattress!
Well I don’t need to tell you that a nap was the furthest thing from that colt’s mind! As the 300 pound animal hit the sagging mattress, the squeaking springs began their heavy metal lead-lick and the boy noticed how huge the colt had suddenly become. The colt would try to get up and the boy would push him back onto the bed. The colt would try to get up but just couldn’t seem to get any traction. Springs squeaking … legs scrambling. The room was a blur as the boy tried to calm him down but the colt was not listening anymore. He had trusted him into the house and up the stairs, but no more!
Reason (which obviously been out for lunch) suddenly returned to the boy. He tried to get the colt out of the bed and onto his feet. But chaos filled the tiny – and getting tinier – room.
It took just moments, and when it was over, the room looked like a cyclone had hit it. Hearts racing, the two nervously made their way down the steps, through the dining room, out the kitchen door, and back outside to the pasture. Wide open space never looked so good … to either of them. As the boy shuffled back to the house to survey the damage, he wondered how he would make the repairs before his folks came home.
But when he actually saw the room he was blown away. Awestruck, he stood in the doorway. He quickly realized that there was no way he would be able to repair the bedspread, sew up the sheets, fix the hole in the mattress, tape up the drywall, weld the headboard, or re-wallpaper the walls AT ALL … not to mention in much of a hurry.
The boy tried to think of a believable alibi to explain the damage. But alas, when his folks got home, all he could say was, “Follow me. You’re not going to believe this.”
And my brother told my folks this very story … just the way it happened.