His name was Horns. A name that fit not only because of the white markings from eye to eye but also because he was a devil calf. He acted like a bull right our of the Mexican Bull fighting arena some forty miles south.
My father claimed that Horns' father had snuck up from Mexico to be with Horns' mother like one of those famous Mexican lovers.
"He snuck up here riding that tornado wind last year and told that old heifer a bunch of lies. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't even bring her a box of candy. Horns was born to be a devil."
I was ten when Horns was born and from day one I decided that calf was mine. He was my Mexican fighting Bull and as soon as he got his legs I began to torment him with a red T-shirt.
"Hey Toro." I would taunt. "Toro...toro...toro...".
I would strut in front of him pretending to be a champion bull fighter. At first he looked at me like I was crazy, but then he figured the game out. I would do my strutting with a fancy red cape my mother made me, chanting...toro....toro...
Horns would charge at me or the cape. Most of the time I was able to step aside like a real bull fighter but sometimes he would hit me square on with his head and I would land on my butt.
Sometimes a neighbor would drop by to see to see me fight "my bull" and they would laugh and clap. There clapping convinced me that I was destined to be real bull fighter.
When Horns was about six months old I decided that I would rather be cowboy...a rodeo cowboy...a bull riding cowboy. Naturally Horns would be my bull to practice on and my father said...
"If you want to ride Horns it's okay by me."
In my mind I would be up on Horns holding on to the bull rope with one hand and waving my cowboy hat with the other.
Horn's didn't have the same picture in his mind as I had in mine.
My dad tied a rope around his belly and walked him over to the fence that I was waiting on. He held onto Horn's head while I climbed on his back and then he stepped away.
Horns turned his head and tried to see what or who was on back. At first he just stood there but then he decided he didn't like what was going on. He took off across the corral. He didn't buck or turn circles. He just stopped.
I didn't...He launched me across that corral and I landed in a heap right next to a fence post. I wasn't hurt much except for my pride because my mom and dad and a few neighbors had a good laugh at my expense.
The strange part of this story was that from that day on, Horns refused to be my fighting bull. I would do my taunting and strutting and he would just stand there and look at me.
I have no idea what he was thinking but my dad said he was probably thinking about that heifer calf that was born about the same time he was.
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gsbatty for "mindlovemisery"
Posted by George S Batty