“Dead Horses”

We were about to throw tractor wheels when we found something better.

Doing anything with these dead horses, he asked. He had his little shorts and his name was Billy and Billy walked like a man.

No, I said.

We dragged them out of the barn, maybe a dozen.

These are awkward and ungainly and more true to life, Billy said. Let’s throw one as a marker to see if we improve.

He dragged one by the leg to a spot behind him then dragged his toe in the dirt from his spot to mine.

This will be our throwing line, he said. He kissed his arm.

Can’t stop sweating, I said. I laughed.

A bit of wind hit his hair, as he hiked up his horse. I’ll go first, he said.

His calves grew out as he balanced and shuffled his feet. He dug in, pumped his legs and hurled it so it spun like a star, soaring. Finally landing a solid two body-lengths away.

Two! Yeah! I yelled. Yeah!

He collapsed. I grabbed him up to bump chests and we landed. Now it was my turn.

Ok, he said. He could barely speak. What you got. He slapped his legs and fell again. No chance, not a chance. Not against my horse.

I got down real low and hiked it up on my shoulder.

A real pretty one with a white mane, a white belly like a seashell. I shuffled my legs underneath for a show.

Real heavy, I said.

He tossed some dirt at me. I got up. I pumped my legs and threw everything. High, strong arc, better than his. I fell back and when I hit, it was still going. Finally it came down. It bounced then settled.

Ha! he yelled. A whole head shorter! A whole head! I beat you fair and square!

About Robert Eversmann

Robert is from Portland, Oregon.