Picture this: a panoramic background, the green Okanogan Valley, pines and quakies with contrasting colors of a splendid autumn.

The artistic eye discerns a lone riderless horse, a bay with four white socks and a blaze standing, reins hanging down and a white flag hooked over the saddle horn. As the flag comes into focus, the mind begins to dissect, “… is that a pair of tighty whiteys?”

It was one of those days. Craig spotted an old cow that had been evading them. She was crossing the meadow heading back into the woods, Craig dug the spurs into Ol’ Bay to cut off the uncooperative cow.

The grass was moist, but the meadow was firm ground. The chase was on. She took a turn to the east and disappeared into a drain ditch, then climbed out the other side. Ol’ Bay hesitated at the tip of the lip then slid down to the muddy bottom of the ditch. Craig’s mind was operating on autopilot, processing decisions in milliseconds, enacting them in trilliseconds.

The opposite side was too steep to climb straight up. A trajectory correction was engaged 30 degrees to the starboard, aiming to climb the bank at an angle. The horse went down and rolled back over Craig.Our good cowboy pushed the horse on over his pinned body.


Ol’ Bay’s hooves hit the ground, and he fired himself back upright, unintentionally hooking the saddle horn under Craig’s pant leg. Which, of course, in turn, tore itself up through his blue jeans, sliding under his Fruit of the Looms, ripping out the zipper and pulling the already stretched underwear through the cavernous gash left by his torn jeans.

During the tumult, the saddle horn snagged the elastic waistband and stretched it till it broke and freed the flopping cowboy. As he fell back, he came unhooked, untangled and disrobed – and rolled to the bottom of the muddy ditch.

But still clinging to the saddle, the tighty whitey’s fly had thrown itself over the saddle horn and was hanging like a shabby shred of washrag waiting to be wrung out.

Ol’ Bay strikes a pose as time stands still, awaiting the artist or photographer to come along and make him immortal.

And that, my friends, is the essence of Western art. PD