Audrey Pavia
October 17, 2011

purse eaten by a horse

Photo by Audrey Pavia

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Milagro, nudging the most delicious purse he’s ever tasted.

Milagro’s back has been bothering him, evidenced by the way he flinches when I run my hand over the muscle just in front of his hip. So, I scheduled a visit for him with an equine chiropractor.

The chiropractor could only come during the week when I was at work, so my roommate, Michelle, graciously offered to take Milagro to the boarding stable down the street where the chiropractor would also be treating some other horses.

Later that day, when I got home from work, Michelle gave me a full report on what the chiropractor had to say. She then told me she needed to show me something.

Michelle went into her room and came out holding a gray leather purse that was torn to shreds.

“Guess which one of your animals did this?” she said, grinning.

Horrified that one of my creatures was responsible for this destruction, I said the name of the most obvious culprit, Cheddar. Ever since Michelle moved in, my orange tabby, Cheddar, has been hell-bent on breaking into her room. He managed to do so twice already, starting a fight with Michelle’s cat, Elvis, both times.

“Nope,” Michelle answered with a smile. “Bigger.”

The only other animal bigger than Cheddar in the house was Nigel. The perfect dog, Nigel has never torn up anything in his life, but there’s always a first time. I reluctantly said his name in response.

“Not Nigel,” Michelle said. “Bigger.”

I must have looked at her with such confusion that she decided the guessing game was futile.

“Milagro,” she finally said. “Milagro did this.”

She then proceeded to tell me the story of earlier that day when she had walked Milagro down to the boarding stable for his back adjustment. While he was waiting his turn to be seen, she tied him to a hitching post under a giant pepper tree. She then hung her purse from a bridle hook that had been nailed to the tree.

Michelle walked away to go tend to her horse and was gone for several minutes.

When she returned to check on Milagro, she found him very busy. He had apparently contorted himself in a way that he was able to reach Michelle’s purse. He had it on the ground in front of him and was holding it down with one hoof while he ripped the pockets off with his teeth.

Michelle managed to wrestle the purse away from him but there wasn’t enough intact purse to salvage.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry over this. Milagro was notorious for being destructive, but this one seemed over the top, even for Milagro.

I could tell Michelle didn’t really care about the purse, but I felt awful. I asked if it was a good purse.

“Nah,” she said. “I’ve got a million purses.”

Relieved that my annoying horse hadn’t taken apart a Gucci bag or something, I slunk into my room like the mother of the bad kid in class. My wayward “son” had embarrassed me yet again.

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