“How do you turn this thing on?”
Minnesota Viking’s offensive guard, Chris DeGeare, was waiting curiously on his stoic horse. The animal, named “Makala” by his owner of 10 years, was 30 pounds lighter than DeGeare. The horse was clearly sagging under the weight of the mammoth football player as he kept poking him with his fingers, looking for a non-existent ignition point. “Does he have like a skeleton key I can borrow or is this one of them electric buggies?” The horse shook his mane in the hot sun, a sign of annoyance and a movement faintly reminiscent of a human eye roll. They hadn’t even left the holding grounds yet, and Makala was fearful that he would never return from this trip to eat his meal of hay later that evening. The thought of missing his meal struck his horse-heart cold. The hay here was delicious, and he’d be damned if he was going to let an over weight football player break him.
The team of travelers were finally signaled to leave the holding grounds and begin their journey. Makala began with a start, legs stiff and buckling under the beating sun and the oaf of a gent. The human, Chris DeGeare, yelped with excitement as Makala began their generic two mile horse ride on a soft trot. Immediately, DeGeare pulled back on the reigns, slowing him down.
“Easy there, Maki-mak! We’re not going to find the treasure all in one day!”
Treasure? Makala was confused. He was going to follow Butch, the lighter brown horse next to him who was partnered with a young Christian Slater, along the Arizona dessert path to the Joshua Tree and then back to the farm stead. The trip was supposed to take an hour, tops, with plenty of time for the humans to get off the horses and rest their bow-legs. Makala shook his mane again as a shiver rode down his long neck, thinking about this DeGeare’s inner thighs rubbing along his neck for the entire ride. Not only was he now determined to return to his hay meal, but he WOULD spent the evening in a cool pond, crying and soaking the fat man’s inner thigh juice out of his coarse hair.
The ride continued with the humans discussing many things which seemed overly trivial. Lock-outs? Pregnant Kardashians? Untamed Heart? And why the reference to a treasure? They kept mentioning Billy Crystal and that idiot’s film “City Slickers”, but even Makala knew that the only time anyone watches it any more is when it replays on USA at 11:00 AM on a Saturday. He was growing depressed. When could he retire to Hawaii and be a ranch horse as well? He was through with his trail rides.
“Look at me, I’m a regular old cowboy!” DeGeare said as lazily tossed a rope over and around his head. Makala winced at the tried action. What were you going to do, rope a sandwich? A wild boar? He couldn’t help but think that, as Makala had done, this over-sized gentlemen should instead be working on his craft instead of leisurely riding a horse, a pastime he was clearly not cut out for.
As the day rode on, Makala’s back grew tired and, unfortunately, the large man’s confidence grew. Makala had slowed to a waltz on the latter half of the trip, just using all his focus to ensure his back wouldn’t snap under the pressure. Yet it was here when the “athlete” most decided he wanted to become a cowboy, kicking his heels into Makala’s side, tossing his reigns in sloppy fashion, and yelling every command he could think of under the sun to “poop, get a boner, not fart really loud in that other horses face, HAHAHAHA!” Makala tried his best to ignore the man, closing his eyes on the home stretch and dreaming of running free with a tight young philly, but the disappointment in the human’s voice snapped Makala back to reality.
“Aw, that’s it? I was just starting to feel like I should be in Young Guns Two with you, Slater! POW! Gun shoots! Yeah, awesome!”
Eventually, the man slumped off Makala’s aching back and shook the ground as he landed. Makala seemingly grew several inches with the weight off his back. As he stretched and delicately trotted over to the trough for a drink of the G Series Water (3 for Recovery), he stretched and heard his back crack in many places. He knew he would be placed on a reserved list for several weeks after this ride. He was OK with this. While Makala enjoyed the trails, the fresh air and the occasional falcon sighting, he too enjoyed not having to listen to inane human chatter for hours on end.
Makala was preparing to lie down to rest, imagining a week away from talk about Jersey Shore, almos asleep when he heard in the distance – “I’mma buy a horse for myself some day, keep it in my backyard. Shit’s going to be dope.”
Inside, Makala wept for that horse’s soul.