This morning was one of those mornings when I got out of bed and pretty much hit the ground running. Funny thing is that it wasn’t planned that way.
I actually woke up on the edge of my bed, miserably sore from the company of two little boys nestled in my queen sized bed, wedged between me and my husband. It was only when I went to get some Tylenol that I realized, we’d overslept!
Time to kick it in high gear!
“Everybody Up!” I hollered.
Then I cracked a dozen eggs in a pan of butter, threw some clothes on myself and my two school aged boys, and grabbed a blanket to wrap around my still sleeping four-year-old as we headed out the door.
Just as I stepped my foot out the door, my sleepy little Goldilocks spoke his first words of the day, “Momma. Da horses is out of they’s pen.”
“What?” I asked.
“Da horses.” He said, in his sleepy little voice, “they’s out. Wook.”
Glancing behind my back I saw our two horses nibbling on the green grass around the barn.
“Sure enough. I’ll put them up when we get back.” I said.
When we got back to the farm I decided to feed and cloth my little horse wrangler before tackling the day’s chores which now included corralling two horses.
Once my little cowboy was ready, we headed out to care for the animals.
First, I had to get rid of the mob of hungry chickens at my feet. So I threw out some scratch – much to their satisfaction. About that time, the horses began trotting over to join in on the all you can eat buffet. But they were met with a disappointing menu of measly seed. With nothing better to do, they decided to nose around in the chicken house instead.
That’s when I noticed something different about cattle. (Cattle the horse, not to be confused with cattle the cows.) He looked kinda… pretty. Then I realized something very different about Cattle’s hair.
Cattle had a braid…. on his tail. And several ponytails tied up with colorful ponytail holders on his mane.
I don’t own any colorful ponytail holders. Mine are all black.
And I didn’t braid his tail.
Not only am I the only female on the farm, but I’m the only human on the farm that knows how to braid.
There were so many questions going through my mind.
How did your hair get braided? Did one of the other animals do it? Elves? Where have you been? And if you’ve been somewhere, why did you come back? And even if you went somewhere overnight, who would braid it in the dark? Are you seeing other farmers? Is this some sort of sign? Do you want me to paint your hoofs?
I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to call my husband and see if he had any answers for me.
Thankfully, he picked up after a few short rings.
“Honey? Did you ah….. did you happen to fix Cattle’s hair this morning before you left for the ranch?” I asked.
*silence* “Did I what?” he asked.
“Cattle’s tail is braided. Did you braid it?” I asked.
*silence* “No,” he replied.
“Do you know who would have braided it?” I asked.
“No,” he replied.
“Is there any chance the farrier braided it the other day when you were helping him?” I asked.
“No,” he replied.
I could tell this conversation was getting me nowhere, so I disconnected and decided to leave it at that.
Maybe it was my sister. Maybe since I don’t have a doorbell for ding-dong ditching, they did a drive by braiding. But yet again, I was met with a dead end.
When I picked my kids up from the bus stop, I asked them if any of them had braided Cattle’s tail.
“What’s a braid?” they asked in unison.
Pretty sure the answer is no.
So for now, The Mystery of the Braided Horse Tail remains unsolved.
But the case will remain open until further notice. If you or someone you know has any information as to the identity of the equine stylist, please let me know.