Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Ghosts in the Yard!

A gravel haulers day starts very early, and ends rather late. It’s the sort of job, where the early bird really does get the worm. We were shipped out on a first come, first loaded sort of policy, so it paid to be one of the first trucks in the lineup, never mind the first. If you take into consideration that there are thirty to fifty trucks to load, and it takes a few minutes per truck, the first ones out of the pit were often arriving back when the last trucks were finally going out. It could very well mean an extra load by the end of the day, so leaving for work early, had its rewards. When you’re paid by the load, every one counts. Still that four in the morning was a tad hard to manage most mornings. Not only was it hard to leave the comfort of bed, it also meant that I had to walk to the semi all the way to the backyard, in the dark, by myself. Of course, I imagined all sorts of creatures waiting to pounce upon me, or at me from behind every corner, every building. The best mornings were when the hubby conceded to my imaginings, and parked the truck in the front yard. The closer to the house, the better. Less chance at being eaten by a bear or sprayed by a skunk then, at least by my way of thinking.
Monday mornings were the worst, because the semi was always in the back. It was parked there after work ended on Friday or Saturday, was serviced and readied for the next week, and that’s where it stayed. I would whine and beg, but apparently it wasted too much fuel, and one less time the truck was started was one less time the starter had to turn over. At least that was hubby’s philosophy. Bears or no bears, I had to make that walk in the dark.
One particularly foggy morning, very dark, eerily foggy morning, I stepped from the house, edgy and jumpy with nervous trepidation, and began to walk away from the house. I don’t know what prompted me to look to my left towards our large side lawn, but I did. My nervous haste immediately slowed. There on the lawn, was a group, no … a herd of deer. I’m not even exaggerating … a whole herd, and they were casually napping all over the place. Most were lying down, a couple were quietly standing, and they didn’t seem at all concerned about me. I could barely make out the shapes in the dark and fog, but there appeared to be about a dozen of them. In my book, that definitely constitutes a herd.
By now my forward movement had slowed to barely a shuffle. As much as I thought deer were beautiful, what with their soft, brown eyes and delicate stature, the fact that they didn’t appear to be at all afraid of me was rather concerning. I could understand one or two being unafraid, but a whole herd? Never. When one rose from lawn and began to move towards me, that dark shape seeming much larger than I was comfortable with, I turned tail and ran back into the house.
Straight up the stairs I went, back to the bedroom I’d only vacated not twenty minutes before.
“Hey, are you asleep?”
“Yes,” the smart Alec answers, without lifting his heard from his pillow, “I am.”
“There’s something strange going on outside, really strange,” I persisted, still somewhat shaken by what I’d seen. Though he pretended to be fast asleep, I wanted him to listen, “a whole herd of deer … sleeping on the lawn, and they’re not afraid of me. One even started walking to me,”
What does he say to that? He answers, “Oh, good then. They’re friendly, no worries.”
“You’re not going to come out and walk with me?”
“Nope,” he mumbles with a laugh, “I’m not. They’re just deer. Don’t be such a chicken. Deer won’t hurt you.”
‘Butthead,’ I grumbed under my breath, as I headed back downstairs, “deer can be dangerous, they can strike out and hurt you, they can.”
Stepping outside again, I determinedly struck out for the backyard again. Catching my breath, I swallowed hard when a couple more deer rose and seemed to be interested in me then a couple more. Seconds later, they were moving towards me, and I was frozen in place. The yard had been taken over by deer that had lost their minds, and now they were coming to check me out, or stomp me into the ground. I wasn’t sure which.
“Get!” I sternly ordered, “Shoo!”
It was then that I heard it. The soft, little nickers that said what my deer really were, a dozen of my horses. The little beggers had somehow gotten out, and decided that the lawn was a perfect bed! I laughed with relief as they came up to nuzzle and say hello. They obligingly followed me back to their pen, where I found the gate off it’s hinges, and I secured them safely within the fences. I have to say, I giggled pretty much the whole day at how silly I’d been, but the imagination is a powerful thing indeed.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB