The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


The truth as I see it

Easy does it

“Goo Goo Gajoob,” said the red clown.

“Phinneas Fly,” replied the mare.

The mare had been trapped for only three days, a misplaced foot having caught on the iron grid. How lame, the mare had thought, how lame indeed.

The mare was not actually lame, but for all intents and purposes her life was over. The trap had ruined her pelt about the hoof, leaving a permanent mark that would never heal properly. No stately gentlemen would ride her now. No more cantering across the grass or galloping over hard earth to a final, brilliant flash as she cleared the hedgerow in a single, gliding bound.

That was all gone; it all drained into the iron trap that ruined her pelt. Truly a shame.

Then the red clown showed up. The red clown talked nothing but nonsense and the only way to keep from going insane was to talk nonsense in return. The lack of sense deafened the senses and the total lack of sensuality made the whole ordeal senseless. What a waste of time.

The red clown did have some qualities. He had eased her hoof a small fraction to the left, so that the trap no longer bit flesh, instead gnawing at her hoof, which was used to having shoes nailed to it so it didn’t really matter all that much. The shift of his strong nimble hands had felt good, even when she looked down to view the wreck of flesh above her ivory hoof, the corniced flesh and bone that allowed her to walk on nails like they were feathers and shrug the blasting heat of beach sand. The hoof was still there, the bones of her middle phalanx intact, yet the meat around it was a mess. Gosh, that grass looked good and how long had it been since she had eaten?

The mare lowered her nose and bent her neck to reach the food that grew in the meadows.

The red clown slapped her hard. That deserved a good kick in the ribs at least, but by the time she looked up the damned thing had disappeared out of sight, simply vanished.

With a hoot the clown reappeared from behind her. If she had just put her back legs in she could have really hit the bullseye. Instead the red clown laughed at the grass cud that dribbled down her chin. What a bastard thing to do.

What a bastard in general. The mare had not invited this red clown into her life. The thing just showed up like a crimson parade, and things had been good, her foot adjusted, but that slap tickled just a bit too much. Such things are not to be done to a mare while she is eating.

The clown reached into a large parachute-like pocket. He lifted his hand as if to strike her, the mare winced, waiting for the blinding force to land. Pinprick stingers peppered her face. The clown had thrown oats in her face. Three days, they looked pretty good even in the dust. She could get them with no problem, unless the red clown slapped her again. What a bastard of a saint this red clown could be.

She turned her body so that the clown couldn’t surprise her and ate. Why it had not occurred to her to eat was irrelevant. The time to eat was now, and the next time might be a long way off, so the mare decided to make the most of it. She buried her face in the turf and, with her usual infinite grace, cropped the green blades short. An ant bit her tongue.

She snorted. Why she had gone her whole life without eating an ant? Why on earth had it happened now, with her foot in a trap? She didn’t grow up for this; she knew the soft life of stables and brushes and gilded saddles. She knew jumping and the occasional trot through town in utmost propriety. Now she was crippled, immobile, starving with an abusive stranger, and worst of all, an ant had just bit her tongue and it hurt. She almost wanted to cry.

The red clown stroked her mane in silence. The mare looked up. She hated that clown because it embodied everything that had gone wrong. Suddenly she wanted to kick the clown as hard as she could. The thought of the clown sprawled out in the grass with a massive delta oats streaming forth excited her. The clown stopped stroking her mane. She mare looked up. The red clown gave her a heavy pat on the ribs and wandered a few yards away. She could eat safely, or at least, safely enough.

The clown faced away, hands busy, out of sight. Smoke started to rise from his head. The clown was smoking a cigarette. Suddenly, the mare wanted a cigarette. She whinnied; riders always got to do the fun things.

The mare studied the clown. The red clown was tall and wore a tight bodice with billowing red sleeves and pantaloons of maroon stripage. Gold bands held the velvet cloth at the wrists and shoulders. The large black belt gripped tight on the waist of the creature, fighting the ribs as they heaved outward to grip the thickening smoke from the cigarette. Black and red, the mare thought; why was that important?

The clown looked over his shoulder at her. The whole darkened face was a mask, completely unreadable. Looking at those shadowed features was like galloping full speed toward a stone wall with no idea what the other side looked like. The only option was to jump and pray.

Lightning flashed through daylight off the blade. The clown strode toward her quickly. Baselard edge aloft like a guillotine, the clown looked down on the mare with something akin to sympathy. She closed her eyes. What an awful way to end.

Her leg instinctively shot off the ground at the relief of pressure. Nothing stung quite so much in her life as the lock shattered against the bladepoint, causing the whole mechanism to swing open and blood to once again flow back into her hoof. A slim stream trickled into the grass.

The Harlequin casually swung himself onto her back and pressed at her flanks with his heels. It was time to go.

“Let us exchange names,” she said.

“Phinneas Fly,” said the clown.

“Goo Goo Gajoob.” The mare whinnied.

Questions? Comments? Austin Rucker is a senior English major and can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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