, ,




Gary and Margaret Swan lived in a smallholding on the outskirts of town. They had only recently  been married.

All of her life, Margaret wanted a pony. She began to leave Gary hints, like DVD documentaries and book about ponies sitting on the living room table and making remarks like, “I’d really like a pony.” Very subtle.

The following Xmas Gary bought Margaret a pony. She was ecstatic. She called the pony Bolt. After they had tamed Bolt Margaret told Gary that she would like to ride him. Gary had no problem with this. The following day Margaret was straight into town. She bought herself a pair of white cowboy boots, flared cowboy trousers, a red sparkly cowboy shirt with tassles and a great big huge white cowboy hat to match her boots. Margaret wasn’t one for half-measures.

When Gary arrived home from work, Margaret was all dressed up, ready to ride Bolt. It took Gary all of his strength not to laugh. Margaret approached Bolt. She didn’t have to climb up on the pony, she merely stepped across, what with Bolt being somewhat short in the height department. When Bolt began to walk, Margaret grinned even though her boots were dragging on the ground. She spent the rest of the day riding around the holding yard.

Margaret began watching country and western movies and getting funny ideas. One night she said to Gary, “I’d like to jump a fence on Bolt.” That weekend they had a miniature fence. When the fence was erected, Margaret took Bolt to one end of the yard. She then ran towards the small fence and jumped over it, making it appear higher than it was so that Bolt would get the message. She walked back up to Bolt and stepped across him. A few seconds later Bolt took off towards the fence. He cleared it with ease….but Margaret didn’t. Her boots got caught in the top rail, leaving her flailing face first on the ground.. After untangling her feet she deemed it a success and reminded herself to lift her feet the next time they jumped. It worked and it kept Margaret occupied for months.

As  time progressed and Margaret continued to watch country and western films she decided that she wanted a gun. Two guns. She had to join a gun club to get a license so she did. She was hopeless. She went and bought herself two cowboy style pistols. Although still hopeless at the gun club, when Margaret had spare time, she would dress in her cowboy gear, stand in front of a mirror, draw from her holster and say, “Stick ’em up.” She got quite good at it.

Then Margaret saw a movie where a cowboy was riding around twirling a pistol in each hand. ‘That’s for me,’ she thought. She practised in front of the mirror and started badly. The pistols would fly from her hands, breaking photo frame, lampshades and even breaking a window. Margaret was determined and finally mastered it.

That afternoon when Gary arrived home from work she was so keen to show him her new skill that she ran downstairs, forgetting to unload the pistols. She rode around the yard twirling the pistols and yelling, “Yee, Ha!” Suddenly a passing car backfired. Bolt took off leaving Margaret to fall sideways. One of the pistols went off. It fatally injured a goat on their neighbours property. Gary panicked. “What are we going to do?” Margaret calmly replied, “Simple. Drag the dead goat over here, call the mobile butcher and freeze it.” It was sorted within 2 hours.

That night Margaret scoured her cookery books for got recipes until she found one. “I’ve never had goat before,” said Gary. Margaret said, “It’ll be fine.” She served up the meal and they had a mouthful each. Luckily their house had 2 toilets. They raced for a toilet each and were there for an hour. They decided to thaw out the meat from the freezer and take it to their watering hole, home of their man-eating crocodile, Hercules. Hercules spat it out and began to vomit as well.

20 years later, Bolt was 22. Margaret went to see him one day. He was laying in his stable motionless. Margaret knew the inevitable and called for Gary. They both stood there. Bolt moved his lips, closed his eyes and. “Did you hear that?” said Margaret. Gary said, “Hear what?” Margaret said, “He said goodbye.” Gary rolled his eyes and pretended he had heard, “Oh that? Of course I did.”

From that moment on, on a full moon, Margaret would be awoken by the clipety-clopety sound that horses make. She would look outside and see Bolt. By the time she had made it to the yard, he had gone. Gary didn’t hear or see a thing….but he went along with it.