You have the BEST stories! Can you tell me a bedtime story?
i will tell you a story friends, and probably you will regret asking me to do so, because its not really a very restful story. i….dont really have any of those.
this is the story of how steve and a horse almost gave me a heart attack.
back when i was a kid, cars were a thing that existed but were mostly really really expensive, so horses were still a common sight on the streets of brooklyn. most of these horses were exceedingly large, calm animals; they hauled around big carts of stuff on crowded streets. back then, milk was delivered to your doorstep by a milkman. the milkman who worked our block was mr. davies, and he was this very nice older black gentleman. i mention that he’s black because racism was Very Much A Thing (oh how times have changed). but mr davies always had peppermint candies in his pockets to give to thunderhead, his horse, and he would always give one to stevie and i if he saw us. so stevie loved mr davies, and if anyone was being disrespectful towards him because he was black, stevie would pretty much blow his top. mr davies loved steve for it, of course. but since mr daives didnt want to get steve in trouble, he’d usually whistle me over (if i wasnt already there) to haul steve off before he did something drastic. mr davies was great like that.
anyway, mr davies was around every morning dropping off milk with thunderhead. thunderhead was this huge dapple grey horse, i think a percheron?? a big draft horse, with hooves about the size of a dinner plate. aside from her size, her name was probably the most intimidating thing about her, because she was the most mild-mannered horse ive ever met. she would let all the little neighborhood kids climb all over her, and mr davies would usually let two or three of us ride on her back down the street. she never really noticed the extra weight. i think that if mr davies ever slept in, thunderhead would go walk his route without him. she loved stevie too–but for very different reasons. steve’s hair apparently looked exactly like hay to her, so she’d wander over and start lipping the top of his head. she never nipped or anything, but steve always got amusingly flaily when she did it, and i always suspected she thought it was funny.
one boiling hot summer morning, steve and i were sitting on the front steps of our building, just wasting time. it was early, but already awfully hot out, so when mr davies rounded the corner, steve decided to go meet him, but i stayed on the steps. it was hot. i didnt wanna move.
anyway, steve went trotting down the block, said hi to old mrs mckinnon, who was on her way to get groceries, and was about a hundred feet away from mr davies and thunderhead when the wind picked up. it was a very nice refreshingly cool breeze, which picked up some of the debris–old newspapers and leaves and such–hanging around and tossed it across the road.
now, if you know horses, you know that sometimes they get terrified by utterly ridiculous things. im told many horses nowadays think plastic bags are the minions of evil, and horses back then were much the same. id never seen thunderhead scared before, but i guess a bit of newspaper whipped in front of her and was the spitting image of Pony Satan himself, because her eyes went white around the edges and she took off running. mr davies was around back of the cart, getting milk out, so there was nobody at the reins to stop her. she went tearing down the block, the cart bouncing along behind, like there was a pack of slavering borzoi chasing after. and of course she was headed right at steve and old mrs mckinnon.
steve, being the brave little idiot he was, didnt run; old mrs mckinnon wouldnt be able to get out of the way in time, so he stood his ground, flung his arms out, and waited to get trampled by a rogue milk cart. all of us there thought we were gonna be scraping tiny blonde guy off the pavement, because thunderhead just kept going.
but about ten feet away from steve, thunderhead must have recognized him, because she went to a screeching stop. four feet down, all her knees locked, skiddin on the cobblestones. normally, she’d probably have been able to stop in that distance, but she was still harnessed to that heavy milk cart, so instead she plowed right into stevie, chest first.
he went flying. he mustve gone about six feet through the air, and he hit the ground and just laid there like a sack of really dead potatoes. i thought he must have broken his little toothpick spine. poor thunderhead looked just as scared as i was, because she got her feet back under her and crept up on him like the cart wasnt jangling right behind her. she dropped her nose down and started whuffing and lipping at his hair, and he popped up like a damn weasel. little moron was fine. he nearly gave me and mr davies and old mrs mckinnon and thunderhead all a heart attack, but he was fine.
and mr davies gave him his whole bag of peppermints, and mrs mckinnon gave him a chocolate, so he didnt even learn to not do stupid shit like that.