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Donna Flood
Lady Scot, a Treasure Lost


Clifton was a man of a small stature who found his roots somewhere out of the hills of Kentucky and that was after his ancestors had left Scotland. All his life he lived and grew up in the oil patch of Oklahoma where his father worked the crude fields. Education was one thing and that was brought about by the schools. The strong culture of the hill people was another matter. Clifton lived his life vacillating between these two cultures. To complicate things even more he married into a mixed Native American culture who knew of their Welsh,  European roots too.  Even if the man was an anthropologist he probably would have been at risk to understand what he couldn't understand.

Deep within him were the strong work ethics and this was the total loyalty he held.  Friends, family, religion, and recreation with all but the dutiful attendance to the local bars was pushed aside. Who knows how much his anger, fears, or slights were sanded and shellacked away by the dark womb like interiors of the places where he found comfort up until late hours. How the lonely, quiet, silent man could sit for hours sipping one after another tall one, got up, got into his truck and drove the distance to his bedroom and bed was anyone's guess.

Pride of his possessions had been a mare he called Lady Scot.  She was beautiful in every way as to the make up of a horse. Her slight red color made her outstanding on the race track. Run her heart out.  She did. The wins she stacked up for her owner became evident and was to make her popular for breeding stock. Colt after colt she produced up until all horse flesh lovers knew she should have been put out to pasture. The lure of the sweet young colts with her blood made them a cherished possession as to sales and was just too much to ignore.

On the day Lady Scot was to produce a colt the women in the family stayed in the house. Things were not going well. The vet had been called and it was evident on his face and movements he was at a loss for what to do. Clifton was away and not available so the vet was making all the decisions. Pacing up and down the floor Clifton's wife was weeping. She paced, swung her arms as if she wanted to make some changes in what was happening. “Where is Clifton?”  She repeated over and over.

As an on looker one of the women, Mira, felt she should do something but what?  She slipped out the back door and walked quietly behind where the men were working. They were so intent on trying to help the flailing in pain horse there was no interest in the woman who was watching and listening.

“She's not going to make it.” The vet was heard to say.

“I know it.”  His helper was squatting beside the horse. No amount of his trying to comfort the mare helped though. She swung her head up in a regal effort to rise above her pain and then flopped it down again. Legs flailing about too made the men know they were in a crisis.

“The only thing I can do is a caesarian.”  The vet made a grim faced decision.

Mira returned to the house where the women were. “They have made a decision to do a caesarian. What do you think? Don't you think Clifton should know?”  Mira knew what a treasure as well as loved animal was and how the man held it dear to his heart. The beautiful young colts were such a thing of beauty anyone would have had to be blind not to see the man's love for his inheritance from a father who had nurtured the animal as well.

Clifton's wife was weeping audibly now. “I don't know where he is.  I don't know where he is?”

Clifton's mother sat with an angry grim looking face. “They better not do that. Clifton won't like it.”

Mira kept quiet. She had delivered the message and now she was at risk of that old adage, “kill the messenger.”

The position of the horse in the barnyard was in full view of the house where the women watched through the wide picture window. The colt was delivered but a huge scar swiped across the belly of the beautiful Lady Scot. No sooner was the operation completed when Clifton drove in the drive way.  He was out of the truck much like a man was off a cutting horse to tie a calf. His quick stride brought him in an instant to where the mare was on the ground. Like an animal stalking another animal, he walked in a crouched way around the horse as if to see the wound better.

Somehow or another,  the men were able to bring the mare to her feet and they walked her up a ramp to the vet's trailer where she was loaded. It was the strangest site to watch the other horses. They had all been standing, front legs spread apart and heads hung down. As soon as the trailer pulled away and was out of sight they began to frolic and play, almost like children who were rejoicing because  the horse was still alive.  The blessings of a beast's love was there in that they would not know Lady Scot later died.

Clifton never got over the loss of the beautiful mare and maybe these were some of the shadows to dance across the walls of the near dark  at the local taverns.


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