The Grass is Always Greener

Back in my younger days, when my buddies and I raced at top speeds cartin' those mallet-swingin' fellas around the polo field, good grass was the most important thing to me. I sure needed it to keep myself well fed and in tip-top shape to leave those other nags in the dust. Grass power was what I thrived on. It kept me shinin' in more ways than one

Me playing Polo

Grass kept me well-fed and in tip-top shape.

The only problem was that come summer, that scorchin' sun dried up the grass so much that it was usually in short supply; too short for me, anyways. That hot, Texas summer sun sucked the moisture right out of most everything around. By then, the juiciest grass was under the mesquite trees or on the other side of the fence. But there just wasn't enough room for all of us under the trees. Besides, they provided the only shade, and after stompin' flies while standin' under them, that grass was soon gone.

That left the other side of the fence. Everybody knows the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. So that was my mission - gettin' to the other side of the fence. It was not always easy. I decided against jumpin' over - that woulda been too hard on my old bones at that age (I was in my twenties), and besides, at the low spots, I couldn't always see what I would be jumpin' into. I decided stayin' on the ground would do just fine if I used my head.

Sometimes it took me twenty minutes to get through that wire fence, carefully, one leg at a time, with many mouthfuls on the way. I figgered out that the farther apart the fence posts were, the easier the wire would spread apart. And if I persisted, those spiral-twisted wire reinforcers either slid out of my way or, if they were loose enough, eventually spiraled back up and off the lower wires. The best part was that sometimes those spirals (which are supposed to strengthen the fence by makin' an upright piece kinda like a post that joins the wires together) would wind themselves back down the top wire by gravity, all by themselves, after I got through. Know what I mean? I watched it happen many times. From a few feet away it looked like it was in place and doin' its job when it really was just hangin' there from the top wire. So anybody ridin' or walkin' by checkin' fence wasn't likely to notice it right off. That's one of the ways my escape routes remained a secret for so long.

I amazed my friends. I never could figger out why my buddies never tried it - it was as easy as frito pie if you put your mind to it and kept calm. It was for sure worth the effort, because the other side of the fence was always food heaven. The only drawback was not havin' water, and havin' to watch for stray missiles from the local golf club and ball fields. It was a long hike to the river, even though it was a smorgasbord along the way. Most of the time, though, by the time I worked my way half way down there, somebody would show up and notice I was missin'. Bein' that far from where I got through the fence always baffled them - they didn't know where I got out. They'd get my halter and a rope, hop on me bareback and ride me all the way around to the gate. They started callin' me Houdini and I soon became the first one they looked for when they drove in. I can still see 'em all liftin' their hats and scratchin' their heads.

One particular day, I decided to shortcut from one field to another. I didn't know I was bein' watched at the time, and soon everybody on two legs knew how I did my magic act. The next thing I knew, the fences got worked on, and I had no more escape routes. I tried everywhere. I admit I did get a little porky while I was getting all that extra grass, and that woulda made it harder to fit through too. I finally gave up, and had to settle for what grass was within the fences. We were given all the hay we wanted, but it just wasn't the same.

May your grass always be greener,

Houdini (P-pot)