Suzy, my friend of 50 years, is a swearing, compassionate, mother-earth, livesaving angel.
What I am about to share is a horror story that demonstrates all of these qualities.
One day about 30 years ago, we decided to go riding at a nearby stable. When we arrived, there was a lot of activity in the grooming area. One horse, a very large thoroughbred, was slated for the show ring the next day, and its owner was entering the room, leading the nervous horse to the area where she could bathe him.
The horror story began just then. Someone had carelessly left a broom propped against the wall, and the horse knocked it over. The noise threw the horse into a panic, and he started wildly backing up, heading for us. Suzy pushed me back against the wall and pressed herself against it too as the terrified horse brushed past us , then turned, ran back into the grooming area. Suzy saved my life.
He reared up, and his hoof knocked off the protective round cap of a metal tethering post. He came down and impaled himself through the chest. All these years later, I can still hear the screams of the horse, of all the people, and the voice of Suzy yelling, “get a gun.”
There was no gun. Well, there was one, but it was locked in the owner’s house and they were away. Suzy swore.
Everyone ran out of the barn. Everyone except Suzy and me. Suzy sat down and cradled the dying horse’s head in her lap, calming him a bit. Every few seconds, he would kick his hind legs against the barn wall. Finally Suzy told me to go outside. I ran, covering my ears against the drumming of the hoofs. Suzy did not want the horse to die alone. Suzy the compassionate mother earth.
It didn’t take him long to bleed out. But the memory of the horror, the smell of blood and the bleach Suzy and I came back with in the middle of that night to throw on the bloody walls and floors after the horse had been removed…those things remain.
Suzy the angel.