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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Memories Matter

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By Toby Benoit

This week is sort of a different one in that I surely have ran low on topics to share.  Deer and small game seasons are over and it seems silly to expand on those topics. And, although turkey season is right around the corner, I don’t want to burn you folks out on the topic, so I’m giving it a rest as well.  I’ll pick up the turkey topic next week with updates of opening weekend in the southern zone as well as sharing tips on the progress of the breeding season and predictions on gobbling peaks.

For now, I’ll share with you a bit about myself that not many of you know.  I don’t only hunt. I own a small farm here in our county and an equally small ranch in Wyoming I get to visit from time to time and although I don’t ride, I’ve always kept horses.  Winston Churchill, famously stated that, “The outside of a horse, is good for the inside of a man,” and I do believe that very thing myself. Whenever I begin to feel stressed and can’t get out to the woods, I can always wander out by the paddock and watch a horse.  They make me happy.

Often I’ll resort to poetry as an exercise to kind of jump start my mind for work.  Tonight, I began thinking about an old mare I was mighty fond of. I’d had her many years and there wasn’t a task put before her she couldn’t do.  Trail rides, obstacle courses, barrels, poles, penning, herding even sorting cows. She was an all around ranch horse. Well, I got to thinking of her tonight as it’s the anniversary of the Winter day I had to finally put the old girl down, and this piece just sort of grew from it.  I hope that you don’t mind that I share it with you here. 

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Hard Goodbye

When Father Time caught up to the old Mare, the grass was thin and brown.  She’d grown so thin, her gait was pained, it was time I put her down.

 It’s not a chore I’d dare farm out, for she had meant too much you see?  Just the thought of what I had to do ripped the heart right out of me.

She surely knew my sadness, since my eyes were soaking wet.  But, we’d never shied from a job together, I couldn’t pass this one to a vet.

I held her halter and rubbed her muzzle while I looked her in the eye.  No words needed pass between us, I’m sure she knew this was goodbye.

She leaned her head into me as if she didn’t want to see me cry.  I can’t say she knew for sure, but in my heart, she knew just why.

I guess I wasn’t quite ready and when she fell I surely sobbed.  I rubbed her nose and sang a hymn, and prayed aloud to God.

I reckon in time when it comes my turn, I’ll see that sweet gal saddled up.  Waiting on the banks of Jordan, for my boot to find her stirrup.

As always, I’d surely love to hear from you if you have any feedback or maybe a story of your own you’d like to share, at [email protected].  God bless and good hunting! 


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