I've only ridden a horse once that I can recall and let's just say it did not go very well. I was young, like seven or eight and I was visiting with my cousin T-Bird. People sometimes ask if I'm making that name up but no, that was his name. I'm sure he had some other name but I don't know what it is. He was just plain old T-Bird...and I can't really think of what that might be short for, so who knows? And I'm not sure if he's my cousin. His father (who we call Uncle Sam even though he's not an uncle) and my mother were cousins, so actually I think T-Bird and me are third cousins. ANYWAY. T-Bird lived with Uncle Sam and Aunt Nancy (who isn't really an aunt, because...oh, nevermind, you get the picture) on a tobacco farm outside Raleigh, North Carolina. And I was summering there, and that might clue you in as to exactly what kind of eight-year old I was - the type that used the word "summering" with some regularity.
So one day on the farm, T-Bird teased me about never having ridden a horse and to show him, I climbed up to prove I could do it. I don't recall the horse's name but I'm sure it was something like "Child-Hater." I also don't remember anything about the riding part of it because I was pretty focussed on figuring out why I was all-of-a-sudden face down in the briar patch. I think I was only on the horse for like five seconds before he threw me off.*
Two other things of note happened to me this same summer. The first was when Uncle Sam made T-Bird and me move a stack of boards from one side of the road to the other to keep us busy one day. I ask you why reading a good book wouldn't have achieved the same thing but I suppose that's neither here nor there. I ended up stepping on a nail on purpose so that I wouldn't have to move the boards anymore, but then I had to go to the doctor and get a tetanus shot, so that little scheme didn't quite work out as planned, and this is a character trait I still have, the "oh, I'll do this thing!" and forgetting that there are consequences, which I will probably finally realize one day when I burn down the house or something.
Then a couple of days later, Uncle Sam asked me which I would rather do: go pick tobacco in the field all day with him or would I perhaps like to stay behind with Aunt Nancy and bake blueberry pies all the livelong day? Even at eight years old, I was fully aware this was the dumbest question ever asked in the entire history of question-asking and I jumped up and stood on a step-stool and quickly began rolling out dough as fast as possible.
Which pretty much explains how the rest of my life worked out, now that I think about it. Sigh.
*Honestly, this might or might not have happened. I have told this story so many times I can no longer remember if it happened to me or to T-Bird but I needed to tie this post to the drawing somehow...so you get a slightly embroidered version. The other stuff is totally true, though!