Tuesday, October 29, 2013


We are a civic-minded couple. We vote. We pay taxes. We watch cable news and shout at the television. We watch CNN in airports and shake our heads.

We volunteer in our communities.

We are Osceola County Volunteer Mounted Posse members. Well, my husband is one of those—him and Miss Kitty, his horse. I’m just applying to be a one of those—along with my free horse, Jayla. Right now, I’m in volunteer limbo, waiting to be finger printed, lie-detected, drug tested, and questioned. 

My free horse is waiting to grow hair in her ears, but that’s another story. 

Until the county calls, I rub lotion on my free horse, hoping she’ll grow hair. I practice posse stuff, and I continue to live clean and free.

Sometimes my posse husband and I ride our horses down to Lake Toho. We practice walking passed cows, plastic bags, deer bones, barking dogs, speeding cars, metal grates, and a graveyard. It’s important to de-sensitive horses to things that might frighten them, which is everything. Horses have been wolf food since God kicked Adam and Eve out of that garden. It’s made them skittery, the horses, not Adam and Eve. 

Adam and Eve are skittery for different reasons.

One of the jobs of the volunteer posse is to look for folks who’ve wandered off: kids, seniors, dead people.

The way I see it if I fell out of an airplane and ended up naked in the woods, not alive, I’d want somebody to come and find me besides the raccoons.

On a trip down to the lake we noticed a cloud of smell that murder mysteries like to refer to as decomp. We rode on. Our horses didn’t twitch or snort. 

“Wow, that’s some bad smell,” I said.

“Yep. That’s a big dead something all right,” Sherwood said.

We rode on. Passed the cows, next to the cemetery, down to the lake. And back again.

The smell had not dissipated. 

“Wow, that’s some bad smell,” I repeated.

“Yep. That’s a big dead something all right,” Sherwood said.

“And there it is,” I said. And there it was, someone’s really big, really stinky, really dead cow, in plain sight and in plain smell, in the pasture next to the road. Somehow we had managed to ride right passed a thousand pounds of odiferous cow. Some posse members we were.

“Wow, I’d have to give us a big F on locating dead cows in the woods.”

“Yep,” he said.

That’s country living. Wolves eat horses. Cows drop dead. Vultures fight the Bald Eagles for road kill. And free horses are never free.

But if you fell out of an airplane and ended up naked in the woods, not alive, you’d want someone to come and find you, even if their free horse had no hair in its ears.

Linda (Leg Up) Zern

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