Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Horse Tails

Lost and Found

Keys are the bane of my existence.  It doesn’t matter what kind, car, house, whatever, I can lose them all. I suppose one could say, it’s a special talent. At least that way, it doesn’t sound as bad as it otherwise might. When I would buy a vehicle, I would automatically get several sets of keys made.  Over time, I would slowly lose them, and have to get more made. Sometimes, I would find them again, more often than not, I didn’t. Still, keys are a big part of life, and one must put up with the inconvenience of having them, and sort of being responsible, too.

I love to ride horses.  With company, without, as long as I was riding, I was happy.  I’d often go riding by myself into the gravel pits that were my stomping grounds, when I was young. Unworked for many years, they were great places to go swimming with horses in the summer months. Crisscrossed with trails both woven throughout the thick bush, as well as up and down cliffs and hills, it was easy to spend hours just exploring and riding. One gorgeous, late fall day, I hopped onto Thow-ra, bareback of course, and headed for the pits. Fall is a beautiful time to ride. The absence of bugs is great. Fallen leaves have dried, and crunch beneath the horse’s every step, and the air smells wonderful. There’s a crispness to the air that both my mare and I found exhilarating, and we spent the day just enjoying exploring.

My father had a very strict rule, no matter what, we all had to sit down to supper, at five o’clock, no excuses allowed. I on the other hand, struggle with definite time constraints. It’s so easy to lose track of time, especially when having fun. Still, the fall is an easier time for people like me, to know when it’s time to call it a day. We have that sun going down on the horizon, to remind us.

This particular day, I arrived back at the land I rented, figuring I had just enough time to take care of Thow-ra and the rest of my mob, then get home just under the wire. Then it happened. I couldn’t find my truck keys, anywhere. Oh man, did I leave them in my pocket when I went riding, instead of hiding them on the truck somewhere, like I usually did? Well, needless to say, I walked the mile and a quarter home.  Arriving when the family was just finishing supper, I still had to help clean up and help do dishes.  After that, I could walk back, in the dark, to get my truck with a spare set.

Winter came as it always does, and by the time spring rolled around again, I was itching to get out and do some real riding. Though we rode all winter, I was eager to get onto the trails as soon as the snow melted enough to allow it. I usually avoided tall grass and heavy bush as soon as things began to dry up, as that’s when the woodticks would come out in droves. I hate woodticks. By mid-June, they’d pretty well be done, and I’d hit the trails once again.

By myself once again, I was mounted on my trusty, energetic Thow-ra as per usual, and we burned off a good deal of energy that day. Meandering along a long, narrow trail through the bush, on the way back from a bit of galloping across some sandy, open areas, when I looked down and saw something.  Something that caught my attention. Hopping down off Thow-ra, I dug into melting snow, only to find … my keys! They’d been there since I’d lost them the fall before, and though I hadn’t found them all the times I’d ridden that very same trail, many times afterwards, and before winter had blanketed everything in snow, there they suddenly were.

I’ve lost keys in some memorable places, alongside the foundation of the house, where they remain to this very day. I once lost a set in the semi, and found them lying on the top of the transmission, where they’d travelled for several days. It’s a good thing to be thorough, when servicing the trucks on a weekend. I changed a tire on the side of a major highway once, well, many times over many decades. But this one time, I lost both my wallet and a set of keys. Both were picked up and delivered to the RCMP in OakBank and beat me home!

I used to have a neighbour, who saved me many a time. I’d lock myself out of the house, and he’d crawl in through the tiny, basement window to let me back in. In my defense, I was several months pregnant, and my belly didn’t fit through the small space. Then there was the time, the guys redoing our house roof, had to go in through a second floor window, to unlock the door for me.  I guess the point of this story is, not only can I lose a bathtub, I can’t be trusted with keys. Funny thing though, I’ve delivered horses to both coasts of the States, east and west, with only one set of keys to the camper!


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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