Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Not What It Seems
Sue and I lived from paycheck to paycheck for several years after relocating to Portland, Oregon. Good fortune came our way one summer when Sue won the raffle at her company’s annual picnic—an all expense paid vacation to the Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon. We flew on a private plane to a small landing strip outside of Bend. When we landed it was evening; the setting sun was tipping the distant mountains purple and a large owl skirted a nearby meadow, hunting for dinner. We piled our luggage into a waiting rental car and headed for the resort.
We drove up a curving road that bisected a fenced pasture. There we spotted something that disturbed us for most of our stay. Several buzzards were perched on a fence, and lying in the grass a dozen yards away we glimpsed the remains of a white horse. I hadn’t seen many horses, never a dead one, and the image was startling. My brain snapped a photo of it and that picture continued to develop in my mind, intruding on the vacation we could ill afford and so desperately needed.
We spent five days hiking, and swimming and canoeing in the Deschutes River, but finally it was time to fly home to Portland. While returning to the airport we again drove past the site of that grisly scene. I wondered how much of the horse those buzzards had consumed, or if someone had loaded the carcass onto a truck and disposed of it. When we rounded the curve in the road I quickly noticed that the buzzards were still there, but they weren’t alone. Standing nearby and looking anything but dead, was that white horse! He seemed to be smiling and saying “Gotcha!” as he chewed on a piece of grass.
I often think of that horse when I’m inclined to jump to a conclusion—things are often not what they seem.
Posted by Stephen Hayes