Sunday, January 10, 2010
Cowboys and Indians
For twenty minutes or so, we took parallel trails and cut back and forth between trails, keeping one particular ride in sight. The wrangler leading out the ride was the owner of one of the liveries and a good guy with a sense of humor. Bill got the bright idea to play “Cowboys and Indians” with the ride and once we figured out which way they were going, we circled around to head them off.
The plan was to burst out of the tree cover in front of the ride and circle around them, whooping and hollering. We got into place and waited for them to arrive for our “ambush”. The wrangler played right into our hands; as they arrived at the spot we had chosen, he stopped the ride to point something out.
Bill looked at me and nodded, so following the plan, I put my heels to Estes and burst from cover doing my best war whoop. The wrangler was startled and jumped, but then as soon as he figured out who I was, just stared incredulously. I’m sure he was seriously wondering if he’d made a mistake by hiring me as a part-time wrangler. The looks on the guests’ faces were priceless; they and their horses stood stock still. The only thing moving on their horses were their ears as they followed Estes’ progress around. I played up the role, and could fully imagine myself with a flowing headdress and bow circling the “Cowboys”. Except about halfway through my first lap around the ride I realized I was alone. Bill, my co-conspirator and lame-ass Indian, came calmly riding into the clearing laughing his butt off.
I finished my loop, my war whoop winding down, face burning momentarily in embarrassment before I started laughing, too. Bill was laughing too hard to explain to the wrangler that they’d been drawn into our game of Cowboys and Indians, so I had to. Luckily, the wrangler got a good laugh at it and told us that it would have been better if we’d had bows and suction cup arrows. The running joke that summer became the Cowboys and Indians; from that point on, we were on the lookout for more Indians with every ride we took out.