Posts Tagged ‘Mingo’

Not Beginnings

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August 11th, 2019 Posted 8:05 am

Normally on Sundays we do beginnings, but yesterday we happened to see a horse, so why not take a look at the scene in Heart of Barkness where the wrangler reluctantly allows Bernie to saddle up the very difficult Mingo?

There was a long pause in which nothing happened except for Mingo rolling his crazy eyes. Then without a word, the wrangler handed Bernie the bridle. He took it in one hand, sort of wrapped his other arm around the Mingo’s head, made a soft grunt I’d never heard from him before, and the next thing I knew he had the bridle in place and that metal bar – never between my teeth, amigo, no matter who was doing it – in Mingo’s mouth. After that came the saddle pad – which Bernie let Mingo sniff at, why I didn’t know, since it reeked of horse and nothing but, of no interest to anybody – and then the saddle. In a flash Bernie got the under strap thing all tied up, muttering, “Seven, four, one,” as he did so, a complete puzzlement to me, and in one easy motion he swung himself up top. For a moment Mingo went out of his mind. It happened just like that. I could feel it, and also feel his tremendous strength. He was going to rear up and toss Bernie to the ground. And that rearing up actually started, but it turned immediately into a sort of circling trot that ended with Mingo snorting and coming to a halt. Bernie patted Mingo’s neck, not for a long time you might say, and maybe not putting a whole lot of feeling into it, but still: this day was off to a terrible start.

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