Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Mom sat clutching the reigns in both hands as she slowly drove the rake across the field with her friend, Mary, walking alongside to keep her company. No one knows for sure what caused the horses to spook. Perhaps one of them got stung by a bee. In the blink of an eye their placid, tail-swishing plod became a confused jangle of stamping hooves and tossing heads. Mom was struggling to get the team under control when they bolted. She was thrown completely out of the seat and fell under the rake still grasping the reigns. Mary screamed and kept on screaming, which did not have a particularly calming effect on the runaway horses. Mom had no thought to spare for her friend. She knew with a sickening certainty that if she let go of the reigns it would mean getting caught in the tines of the rake as it was dragged over her by the fleeing team. She held on with a desperation born of fear as she was bounced across the rough stubble of the hay field with the rake looming over her. It was one of those situations where every second lasts an age. With the horses showing no signs of slowing she could feel her last strength draining away and she knew she couldn’t hold on any longer.
She closed her eyes as the reigns slipped out of her grasping fingers, convinced she was about to be mangled terribly. At that precise moment the tongue broke with a splintering crack, the jagged end catching in the dry earth and flipping the entire rake up and over to land upside down on the backs of the two horses. It stopped them cold and they stood sweating and trembling, shocked into immobility. It took a few moments for help to arrive, enough time for Mom to realize that she wasn’t dead after all. When she finally understood what actually happened she couldn’t believe how lucky she’d been. The timing was incredible. The whole thing could have ended very badly but apart from scrapes and bruises she came out of it all in one piece. I’m not so sure about luck though. I’ve always believed it was a miracle.