Horsing Around

It was during the Kennedy Administration, on one of those beautiful, still, moonless summer nights with a soft breeze and a dark sky devoid of bright stars.  So it made sense that the Canteen promptly emptied out of counselors who paired up, grabbed blankets, and headed for Upper Field.

The field was full of happy, giggling souls engaged in a varied assortment of frisky activities.  Ah, the silence was so very peaceful.

And then, … there was this faint noise in the distance that seemed to grow louder.  Voices from all over started whispering, “Did you hear something?”  Then, “What the Hell is that?” and finally, Barry Greene’s distinctive voice cut through the night air with a ringing scream, “Is that a HORSE?”

This freight train of a horse came thundering out of the gloom towards the blanketed people and everybody scattered.  Then about forty screaming people convened in a big circle in the middle of Upper Field yelling, “Are you sure that was a horse?”  That could not be a horse”!  “How the hell could a horse be on Upper Field!”

From out of the darkness, he appeared again, this monstrous apparition on hooves, heading straight for the circle of counselors like we were bowling pins ready to be blasted.  But we scattered just in time running in every conceivable direction, screaming as we went.

The brave ones reconvened and discussed how to catch that huge horse and take him back to the corral.  It was decided that there was no one among us with the experience or motivation to catch that terrifying animal.  I believe the correct evaluation was that we were too chicken to try to catch the horse.

We remained huddled together until a 15 year-old stable boy came to our rescue.  He walked up and smacked the horse in the head, chastised him for running off, threw a rope over him, and took him away.

If we had had the rope we would have easily done the same thing, at least that is what we told ourselves.  The bottom line was that the horse not only terrified the counselor staff on a tranquil Pennsylvania evening but also gave the survivors one of their most vivid and funny memories of camp.

As chronicled by Hank Aberman

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