Monday, March 11, 2013

The Carriage Ride

My family missed doing a tradition activity.

Last year we moved. About one hundred fifty thousand things hop on our to do list. In all the rush, we simply forgot to do one of our favorite traditions.

For thirty years, our family has driven to Frankenmuth, Michigan. It is a German, Christmas wonderland with quaint attractions three-hundred-sixty-four days a year.

One such attraction is the carriage ride over the old, wooden covered bridge and through the village.

The carriage workers had helped their last passengers dismount. Family members took photos and then the passengers left. 

The parking lot, where one could hire the carriage, had filled with visitors watching a puppet show.

Workers removed the horses bit and prepared to feed him. But something spooked the horse.

"Whoa." The worker shouted. She grabbed the harness and tried to steady the horse. A second worker stepped on the other side of the horse hoping to help calm the animal. The driver, sitting high on his seat, became concerned. His eyes grew wide and he too shouted "Whoa." He didn't have control since the horse didn't have a bit and he sat up on the carriage.

The visitors had no idea of the possible danger. They continued watching the puppet show. 

The horse, standing at least two to three feet higher than the workers worked his front legs as if trying to find his balance. He neighed and bobbed his head. One worker held tight to the harness as the horse moved forward. They repeated their cry over and over, "Whoa."

The horse stomped forward into a fast trot through the parking lot. The worker ran alongside with her hand steady on the harness, trying with all her might to get the horse to stop. As the horse turned to the left she could no longer keep up and feared he's stomp on her. She dropped to the ground but the carriage, still attached to the horse, rolled forward. 

Only God could have precisely placed the horses hoofs and the wheels of the carriage to miss her. The carriage wheels ran within an inch either side of her body even as it turned. She kept her head low and wasn't hit by the under carriage.

The horse ran forward with the driver crying out from his seat, "Whoa." 

The worker hobbled back to her station with the bit still in her hand. Her down trodden face showed embarrassment, frustration, and shame. Although, it didn't seem to me she should. Her hand was bleeding. She refused help when my husband offered, so intended was she on getting the security car, a driver, and find the horse.

I never found out what happened next. We went into the restaurant, and I must admit my thoughts remained on the carriage. Where did the horse stop? What spooked the horse? What happened next?

After our meal we walked out of the restaurant. Workers stood at the carriage stand waiting to take new passengers through the village. The other groomed the horse. Not knowing enough about horses, I am not sure if it was the horse I saw after our meal was the same as the spooked horse. They looked a lot alike.

It did not seem the appropriate time to ask.

Reader, you get to finish the story. What do you think happened next?


Janice said...

The incident was not the first time for this horse to be spooked and react in such a manner. It was, however, the closest call. One more time like this and the horse might be put out to pasture and the lady might be put to rest six feet under.
What had spooked that horse? Was it something the driver did, or perhaps was it something one of the bystanders did? Maybe it was time to call in the Native American who was known in the region as one with the gift. What was that name again? It was like Horsewhisperer but something different. Horsewisdomrider? Yes! That's who would know.

Story starters are fun, Mary. It would be nice to know what really happened!

Janice said...

Not sure what happened to my indentions! Those were not my intentions!

Mary Vee Writer said...

So true.
I am kicking myself for not having the courage to ask the two workers. Maybe its in the paper. I should look it up. In fact I will, and will comment if I find anything.