Inez Castor

Did you miss me? I missed you, and it's going to take a couple weeks to explain my adventure, so this is Part I.

As our esteemed editor asked, "Must you tempt the fates?" Yes. Often I do things considered inappropriate for my age, but since I hardly ever look in a mirror I forget I'm living in an old body. This can lead to falling out of trees or into creeks. But I'm very protective of the piano player's hands and arms and this time I'm innocent of high-risk behavior.

I've fed apples to the same horse over the same fence hundreds of times over the last decade. Just down the road, Katy and her son Zeke, who turned 2 last weekend, fed the horse together. They won't do it anymore.

When he whickered expectantly at the fence, I came in, sliced an

apple and took it across the road to meet him at the gate. I don't ride

horses and consider a fence between us necessary. Jason, the radiologist

who held my hands and arms as gently as if they belonged to his own

child, put it well when he said, "I don't get close to any animal that

weighs nearly a ton and has such a small brain pan."

While the horse chewed the first half of his apple, I glanced down,

then looked up to feed him the second half. What I saw horrified me. His

ears were back and the eye that was suddenly much too close was full of

red rage and surrounded by a ring of white. Before I could react I was

flying through the air.

I usually fall very well, rolling up like a sowbug prior to landing,

but this time I blew it. Once I hit the ground I kept rolling and

scrambling while his huge steel shoes battered the gate.

When I managed to sit up, the sight of my right arm made me ill and

the left arm wasn't much better. And my heart hurt. No animal has ever

hurt me on purpose before, and if there'd been time I'd have cried from

hurt feelings. Nothing had hurt or spooked him and he was still raging

at the gate with an obvious desire to stomp me to pulp.

I have as much selfish self-interest as the next guy, but I'm not a

complete idiot. I watch Zeke meander along the road with his dad, his

tousled curls just above Dan's knee. Zeke is 2 and I am 65 - if someone

had to get hurt for us to realize how dangerous a horse can be, better

me than him. Watching Zeke grow is my "reality show."

And I am still one of Serendipity's favorite children. Sally and

Mike, friends and neighbors for over 30 years, took over as soon as I

hollered for help. Some health issues can't be handled with herbal

remedies and a healthy lifestyle, and this was one of them.

Reach Inez Castor, a longtime Triplicate columnist, at