I announced on Facebook some weeks ago that pretty soon I was going to tell you all about the time a horse tried to eat my finger. A bunch of you seemed to want to hear that story. I think it’s time I got the story down for you.
I was probably eight at the time. I’m pretty sure I was older than seven, but not quite nine, which would mean I was eight. My dad, Fred and I were at Uncle Lynn’s house. I’m not sure if L. Y. N. N. is how his name is spelt, so someone correct me if they know for sure.
Uncle Lynn had a horse. A big quarter horse. I think the horse was black or brown. For some reason I’d always had it in my head that the horse’s name was Mr. Ed, though that probably wasn’t it. Around that time, I was regularly watching the old TV show “Mr. Ed” and I probably just decided that was this horse’s name. But for the sake of this blog entry, I’ll call the horse Mr. Ed.
My cousins Joel and Jason and their dad were also there. We used to always see Joel and Jason when visiting Uncle Lynn’s. Joel and me were feeding Mr. Ed apples. Joel gave him one, no problem.
Though I tried to keep my hand flat when holding the apple for Mr. Ed, I guess I curled my fingers a little bit. Mr. Ed took the apple and the fourth finger of my left hand. That was one of the most painful things I have ever felt.
Mr. Ed was just chewing away on my finger like it was a carrot. Thank God Joel’s dad was right there. He grabbed Mr. Ed’s jaws and pried them open with what had to be super human strength. The chewed up apple fell out and my finger was free.
The next thing I knew, my dad was rushing me into the house and into the bathroom. At one point, Uncle Lynn said something about how the bite went all the way to the bone. I thought I was seeing the bone while my dad cleaned the finger, but I’m not positive. I’m also not sure it’s realistic that I could have been seeing the bone. There’s not even a scar on the finger, so probably not.
They bandaged my finger, and then I was back outside. I remember talking to Fred about the incident while we stood at the pasture fence looking at Mr. Ed. I still liked Mr. Ed, but I wasn’t going to give him anymore apples.
Years later, when we had horses of our own, I never let any of our horses eat an apple out of my hand. I guess that’s how you’re supposed to feed a horse an apple, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’d just drop the apple on the ground and the horse could pick it up.
The reason I’d been thinking about that incident is the finger Mr. Ed tried to eat has been giving me trouble in the last several months. Every since that incident, I would have a little problem with the finger, but not very noticeable. When I’d wake up in the morning and open my hand, that finger would be stuck. I’d have to use a little extra force to get it all the way up, and then I’d just have to flex my hand a few times and it’d be fine for the rest of the day.
I’m not sure when exactly this started,, but sometime within the last several months, when I’d wake up in the morning it would be harder than it used to be to get the finger all the way up. And all day, any time I close my hand and then open it, the finger will lock up and I’ll have to use a little extra force to get it all the way out.
For example, if I grab a glass, pick it up, have a drink and then set the glass back down. When I try to let go of the glass, my finger can still be hooked on it until I use that little extra force.
So, I think it’s getting worse as I approach old age. I’ll probably see my doctor about it at some point, but I doubt any medical professional will be able to do anything short of chopping the finger off so it won’t keep getting hooked on things.
I imagine an x-ray would show a deep ravine in the finger bone near where it meets the hand. I don’t see how something like that can be repaired thirty years after it had already healed improperly.
But, we’ll see.