In the early ’90’s, there was an incredibly popular and much talked about movie called, “The Crying Game.” Critics loved it but one reason it received so much buzz was due to a scene in which information about one of the characters was revealed in a way that left audiences stunned.
(SPOILER ALERT: If “The Crying Game” has been in your Netflix queue and you’re waiting for a good time to sit down and watch it, best stop reading here.)
Okay, they’re gone.
The rest of you know, the big shocker in the movie was that the pretty girl with the nice voice in the movie was actually a boy. It was revealed in a way that left no question in anyone’s mind that she was really a he.
I will never forget hearing my friend, Vache shout, “OH MY LORD!” after that scene.
The Red Horse’s keeper, Sarah, and I had already settled into a routine where we’d touch base every few days and she’d let me know how my horse was coping in quarantine. I had noticed that the pronouns had shifted and all the she’s had become he’s. Farm owners, particularly those who have a lot of horses coming and going off their farms are notorious for confusing genders so I didn’t think twice about it. (She wasn’t calling it an IT after all.)
Until one afternoon, I just had to be sure:
OH MY LORD!
And that, is how the the Little Red Mare became The Little Red Gelding. I’m not sure how the paperwork and messages were changed from gelding to mare. It had been crazy that week for the rescue – – they were busy networking twice as many horses as they typically do in one week and on top of trying to contact a large number of people, a huge snowstorm was approaching. Somewhere along the lines, the listing that had gelding was changed to mare.
This did not help with the mystery of who would toss a clipped, shod Thoroughbred into an auction in January. While he may not have been loved as a family pet, that amount of attention showed that he had been valued by someone fairly recently. We thought we had a name and some sort of idea of where this horse came from but now we were thrown back to the drawing board.
He did have one clue to offer thanks to the tattoo on his lip, a requirement from most state racing commissions. If the tattoo can be read, it can reveal a vast amount of information about the horse: his name; his age;his pedigree; his racing history; previous owners; etc.
The Red Horses’s tattoo is mostly clear. Mostly:
Care to take a stab at what that lip says?
Sarah shared some pictures with friends and as a result, we think we have narrowed down to two possibilities. More on that soon as there was more pressing business this week. We needed a name.
I had nearly settled on Lady Bird as a name for the Red Mare. (I’ve spent a lot of time driving on our nation’s interstates in the past few years and have always enjoyed the wildflowers that grow alongside the roads all thanks to First Lady Lady Bird Johnson. I just knew that this girl would grow to be something pretty out of something not so pretty.) Our Crying Game discovery eliminated that name from contention immediately.
In the car the other day, as Jude and I discussed horse slaughter and what might have been for this particular horse, we tried to come up with some names. They were all wildly inappropriate from my choice: Burger to his favorite: Cheval, the French word for Horse. (The French are large consumers of horse meat.)
I know it’s bad but when faced with a macabre situation, best to confront it with dark humor!
In the end, and given all that he nearly went through but was saved at the last minute we settled on this name. Friends, I introduce to you:
Edward James Almost