“Hey, Apples will walk 'cross the bridge now.
And Midnight does lots more than walk.
But Hondo here's acting real funny.
You might have to do more than talk.”
He held out the reins to the stallion.
I stared into Gary's sly eyes
But couldn't find much there to scare me.
Now that was a cause for surprise.
I pulled on my gloves made of leather
And made sure the cinch was pulled tight.
I gently climbed onto the buckskin.
And thought he would buck or would bite.
But Hondo just looked at me kindly
And walked with a light touch of heel.
He stopped with a slight lift of reins and
I wondered if this could be real.
My friend mounted up and we rode out,
Down to the bridge 'cross the creek.
Felt good to be riding that evening.
I hadn't been out for a week.
We talked about plans for the weekend
And things that had happened that day.
It soon got so she couldn't hear me
As Hondo outdistanced her bay.
Now, Hondo was being a sweetheart.
I left the reins loose in my hand
And turned round to answer her question.
I'm sure that's what Hondo had planned.
His walk simply stopped at that second.
His head dropped to nibble some grass.
I flew 'cross the front of that saddle
And gracelessly fell on my . . .
No, I didn't land as expected.
I thought as I lost all my pride,
“I cannot let go of this stallion
At night on a simple trail ride.”
I clenched my fist tight in my terror
Afraid of what Gary would do
If Hondo got loose on a trail ride,
And straight through the air's how I flew.
I slammed to the end of the reins first,
Just seconds 'fore I hit the ground.
My finger broke then my grip loosened
And Hondo? He quick spun around.
My friend had the same thought as I did.
She managed to stop his escape.
I picked myself up from the dirt path,
Ignoring the odd bruise and scrape,
Then limped to the frisky young buckskin
Who watched me with innocent eyes.
My finger said I should know better
And pain told me trust wasn’t wise.
I turned then remounted that stallion,
And we headed off down the trail.
I promised myself I would watch him,
His head and his ears, not his tail.
That horse planned to dislodge his rider.
To head straight on back to his oats.
If he moved to make it a motto,
He'd get all the stable mounts' votes.
I held the reins tight in my left hand
And cradled my right as we rode.
But Hondo behaved like a vet'ran,
Like all wild oats had been sowed.
Well, I didn't buy it at all then
And shifted my weight just to see
If Hondo would try to break loose now.
That horse didn't disappoint me.
I pulled his head up with my left hand
And slammed it down hard with my right.
That buckskin, he learned a hard lesson.
I saw all the stars in the night.
My finger resembled two golf balls,
But Hondo learned just what to do.
Our ride passed on by uneventful,
Except for a sharp pain or two.
We talked about my broken finger,
Emergency Room, and a cast.
She glanced at her watch and then realized
That most of the evening had passed.
Our plans for the night were for dinner:
Chinese at the new Palace Moon.
She said, “We should probably eat first.
The restaurant's closing real soon."
It's odd that our first thought was dinner.
And Hondo? He'd think we were right.
Our motto became, “Always eat first.
The E.R. Is open all night.”