Life lessons from the horse’s mouth

Clyde Davis: Local Columnist

Several weeks ago, we were able to vacation in Arizona, a trip that included not only the Grand Canyon but the beautiful red rock area around Sedona. Though we only spent a day in that town, I was able to obtain an exclusive interview with Charlie, the Red Rock riding stable horse. What follows is a rough transcript of our conversation; some of what he said is hard to translate into human phonetics.

“Charlie, I am very glad to have this chance to speak with you. It isn’t too often that my readers get the opportunity to hear life viewed, as it were, from the horse’s mouth-ha ha.”

“Whhooaa, Clyde. That haaas to be the oldest joke in the book — not even funneigh anymore. I’m not Mr. Ed, you knoooww; give me some credit.”

“Yes, I guess you’re right. I bet my readers would like to know — you’ve been employed here for quite a while — what was the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced as a riding stable horse?”

“Heeey, thaaaat’s easy. Everybody thinks it would be the biiiig riders, but not alwaaays. I’d rather have a biiig rider who knows what he’s doing, than someone like thaaat lawyer from Philadelphia last year, who kept kicking me with his wingtips to maaake me go faster. Maaan, that hurt.”

“Well, gee, Charlie, why didn’t you go faster?”
At this point, Charlie horselaughed. “He couldn’t even haaang on at a walk; he was all sweaty and nervous from the time he got in the saaaddle. He’d have beeen better off to rent a rocking horse.”

“Kind of an urban cowboy wanna-be, I guess. Those kind must be really frustrating to an experienced gelding like you. What is the most surprising thing to you about the tourists who come here?”

“You mean. other thaaan a columnist interviewing a horse? Haaave to be their response to the rocks and cliffs.”

“You mean all of this mystical, natural, surrealistic beauty?”
Charlie snorted.” They’re rocks, maaan, rocks. They don’t grow any graaass; if you get on the edge, you faaall; they’re rocks. Now my cousin Buck lives in Kentucky, bluegrass country, thaaat’s natural beauty.”

“Of course, lipsmacking good if you like your greens. What do you riding stable horses think about the pink Jeep tours around here?”

“Weeell, I never had a broken fuel pump, nooorr did any of my stablemates. I sure don’t stink up the caaanyons — ’least not like gaaasoline. And we caaan still go plaaaces they can’t. Oh, by the waaay — did you ever see a Jeep gentle enough for a 5-year-old to ride? Nope — but my sister Katie is.”

“No question about it, there will always be a place for riding stable horses. Any parting words of wisdom for the readers, Charlie?”

“Yep, be kind to equines. The waaay gaaas prices are going, you might be neeeding us more thaaan you know.”