Home > Uncategorized > A Bike, A Dog, and A White Horse (A New Twist on A Tired Story)

A Bike, A Dog, and A White Horse (A New Twist on A Tired Story)

I rolled over and sat up on the chip seal road.  “Where did that dog come from?” I asked out loud, speaking to no one.  If I had been talking to anyone, maybe it was to my bike, which rested in a twisted heap next to me.

I never saw the dog until a split second before our paths intersected.  Neither a bark nor a howl came from his canine mouth.  I had turned down a country road and pedaled past a series of mobile homes.  After passing the third mobile home, this dog had darted through a hole in a fence and headed straight towards me.

A second or two later, I hit the dog with my front tire (or the dog hit my front tire).  The impact sent me flying over the handlebars and bouncing along the pavement.  I landed on my right side with my hip and shoulder absorbing most of the impact.  My head, safely ensconced inside a helmet, hit the pavement a couple of times as well.

What was it about dogs and me?

Didn’t they know what a nice guy I was?  Didn’t they know about the good deeds I’d done for the canine nation?  I once took in a stray.  When he chewed up my basketball shoes, I didn’t get rid of him.  I kept him.  When my mom’s dogs escaped in the middle of winter, I didn’t leave them to suffer in the wind.  I would walk the streets until I found them.  I didn’t hate dogs.

Despite these good deeds, dogs have bitten me on the face and ankle, chased me while riding a bike, growled at me, and now one had flung itself in front of my bike thereby causing an accident.

Why?

After a few minutes of sitting on the ground, I stood up, a little dizzy and unsteady on my feet.  I walked in circles around my bike hoping I didn’t have a concussion.  None of my bones appeared to be broken.  My right arm extended as it normally did.  I touched my right shoulder and no bones were sticking up like they were on the left side (a previous non-dog, but biking related accident).  I could feel a painful abrasion on my right hip.  Even though blood had yet to start seeping through my shorts, I figured, based on the pain, that the abrasion was the size of a softball.

I bent over and picked up my bike.  The brakes and handlebars needed straightening after suffering their own impact with the pavement.  Even though I’d planned on riding farther that Saturday, I turned around and headed home.

Along the way, I passed a white horse in a pasture.  A few minutes later, I passed another white horse.  And then I passed a third.

That was weird.  I didn’t remember seeing so many white horses on this road on my way out or at any other time I’d been on this road.

“Hey,” I heard someone say.

To hear anything other than the wind or the sound of a car or truck engine while riding a bike is nearly impossible.  Even holding a conversation with the person next to you on a bike can be a challenge.  I wondered if someone might be riding up behind me, alerting me to the fact that they would be passing me.  I looked behind me and didn’t see anyone.

“Hey, Chris,” I heard.

I looked over my other shoulder as I tried to figure out where this voice was coming from.  I even looked up at the sky, just in case.  I saw nothing.

“They tried to get you again, didn’t they?”

Now I began to freak out.  I don’t normally- actually I don’t ever- hear voices.  I braked and pulled off the side of the road.  I must have a concussion.  A very bad concussion.  Maybe I should call my wife to come get me.  Continuing to ride a bike while hearing voices wasn’t the safest choice to make.

“You can hear me, right?”

Once more I turned and looked around me.  The voice wasn’t going away.  I touched the back of my head to check for blood.  There was none.  Nor did I feel my brain sticking out of my head.  I turned the other direction and locked eyes with a white horse.

“Oh good, I was worried you’d damaged your ears in that fall.  That could be bad.”

I reached into my back jersey pocket for my phone.  I thought I’d seen the lips of the white horse moving and I was nearly certain I’d heard words coming from his mouth, words that I understood.  I still possessed enough cognitive thinking to realize that if I thought a white horse was talking to me, then a concussion might be the least of my worries.

“You were pretty lucky, considering the way you bounced on the pavement.  I thought for sure you’d broken a collarbone or an elbow by the way you landed.”

The white horse was still talking to me.

“Thanks,” I mumbled.  I wondered how long these hallucinations might last.  Was I even standing up?  Maybe I was still sprawled out on the road next to the mobile homes where the dog had taken me out.

“I’ve been watching you lately.  I bet you don’t know how many near misses you’ve escaped.  These dogs have been trying to take you out for awhile.”

Maybe this hallucination was some sort of metaphysical, postmodern, self-exploratory journey.  Perhaps my unconscious mind was trying to tell me something about myself and was using a white horse to communicate with me.  Maybe I just needed to pretend this was real.

I stared at the white horse.  What should I ask this imaginary- it was imaginary- it had to be imaginary- white horse?

“What do you mean they’ve been trying to take me out?”

“I mean, they’ve been trying to take you out.  Don’t you remember Little Fella, your mom’s dog, taking a snippet out of your forehead?  You were probably too young to remember, but Little Fella was always trying to get to you.  As was Little Fella 2.”

“You were there?  I was only five,” I responded.

The white horse nodded his head.

“I don’t understand,” I said, “Shouldn’t dogs like me?  I once took in a stray.”

”You mean the one you named Taco?”

“Yeah.”

“Taco was the best name you could come up with?”

“I was a teenager.  It was funny.  I didn’t mean anything by it.”

“Leroy-,”

“Who’s Leroy?”

“Leroy was Taco’s real name.  To be honest, you were set up.  Leroy followed you around for weeks, working on your emotions, pretending to like you until you fell for him and took him in.”

“I did like him.”

“The plan worked.  It’s a good thing you didn’t let him sleep in your room.  His mission was to get you.”

“How was he going to get me?  He was no bigger than a chiwawa.”

“Leroy was trained to kill.  As soon as you fell asleep, he was going to go for your throat.”

“My throat?  Not Taco?”

The white horse nodded his head.

A car drove down the desolate road and I turned to look at the driver.  I expected that when I turned around the white horse would be gone, that this dream or nightmare would have dissipated, but the white horse was still standing next to the fence.

“Surprised?” the white horse asked.

“Are you also a mind-reader?”

“That’s silly,” he snorted.

“So if you’ve been aware that the dogs have been trying to get me, why are you just now telling me?”

“It’s time you should know.  Besides, I won’t always be here to help you.”

“Help me?  Have you not see how close they’ve gotten?  When were you planning on doing something?”

“You don’t know what I’ve been doing.  You have no idea how many times I’ve intervened on your behalf.  I took Leroy out the day before he was set to attack you.  He and Ethel-,”

“Wait a minute.  Taco was named Leroy, but my brother’s dog Ethel was named Ethel?”

“She looked like an Ethel, didn’t she?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, then,” the white horse shot back before continuing, “Leroy and Ethel were set to attack you.  I took Leroy out.”

“What are you talking about?  Leroy- Taco- was hit by a car.”

“Did you see the car?”

“No.”

“Do you know anybody who saw a car hit Leroy?”

I thought for a moment.  “No.”

The white horse lowered his head and raised his eyebrows at me.

I really ought to sit down.  I was talking to a white horse who’d been following me my entire life, who was claiming to be my guardian angel/assassin, and who could talk.  I was losing touch with reality.  I leaned against the frame of my bike.

Um, I wasn’t losing touch with reality, I’d lost my grip.

“So the dog that bit me in 2006?”

“She was supposed to knock you off your bike and a whole pack of dogs were ready to attack you.  She failed.  She could barely break the skin of your ankle.  If she’d actually knocked you down, I would’ve been there.  Let’s just say that was her last mission.”

“Did she have rabies?  Because I had to get rabies shots.  I was never able to find her to get her tested…”

“I don’t know if she had rabies,” the white horse replied.

I closed my eyes and tried to remember the day I’d been bitten by that dog while riding a bike.  I didn’t remember seeing a white horse anywhere.

“Not all dogs hate me,” I said.

“Dogs are very smart.  Some were sent to watch you.  Or to keep you from going anywhere.”

“What do you mean to keep me from going anywhere?”

“Don’t you remember the dog that ate your drivers license?”

“Oh yeah,” I mumbled.  We’d been at my sister-in-law’s house to watch a movie and their new dog climbed on the kitchen table, grabbed my wallet, and chewed up the contents, which included my drivers license.

I thought about the dogs that snarled at me when I entered people’s homes and the cujo like dogs that chased me down country roads while I was riding my bike.

“If what you’re saying is true, and if I’m not suffering from any brain damage, then what’s my purpose?”

“What do you mean?” the white horse asked.

“What’s my purpose?  If you’re my guardian horse as you seem to be implying, if the dogs have been trying to get me and to keep me from going places, then what’s my purpose?  What are the dogs trying to prevent me from doing in this life?”

“Huh?”

“I’ve read stories like this where people have conversations with some guardian angel type person, where the guardian angel tells them that they have a great purpose, that there is some noble task to which they have been destined to achieve, something only they can do, something which their opponent wants to keep them from at all costs, even death?  What’s my purpose?”

“I don’t understand,” the white horse replied.

“What are the dogs trying to prevent me from doing?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?  There must be something.  There must be a reason they are after me.  There must be something they don’t want me to do.  Why are they after me?”

“Why have the dogs been out to get you your entire life?  Is that what you want to know?”

Was the question that hard to understand?  “Yes!  Why are the dogs after me?”

“Well, they just don’t like you.  Never have, never will.”

“What do you mean, they don’t like me?”

Another car came down the road and I turned to look at the car and driver.  When I turned back around, the white horse was gone.  Vanished.  Disappeared.

The dogs don’t like me?  It couldn’t be that simple, could it?

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