"This is my new horse Taz," says I.
"What kind of a name is Taz?" says John.
"I dunno," says I. "It's just the one he came with."
"I don't like it," says John.
"It's just a name," says I.
"Sounds like Tasmanian Devil. Doesn't bode well for the future," says John.
"Well, maybe he's a Tasmanian Angel," says I.
"Ha, ha, haw!" says John, as he ends up getting the last laugh after all.
The list of this horse's apparently uncontrollable quirks is long - from his joy of packing around in his mouth everything from sticks to tools, and expensive tack, to his need to reach into or walk through any windows, gates or doors left open.
Yes, that also includes front doors.
And it's best, apparently, if he can count coup by hauling off, rearranging or destroying treasures he finds on the forbidden side of the opening.
He is a compulsive fence crawler, even through the electric fence, but we'll revisit this issue later.
His is addicted to black rubber. We still have by our shop an old bin with truck tire inner tubes that are on the list of "to be cleaned out." The horse would periodically pull out an inner tube and pack it around the yard. Each time I discovered his mess and threw away his latest black rubber tube, he would pull out another to play with.
Since I finally wised up and stopped throwing them away, he's kept the same one for almost a year. It is, apparently, a precious treasure that he takes quite good care of.
I can't say the same for my feed tubs, the heavy-duty, top-of-the-line black rubber feed tubs I use as grain feeders. They have to be kept locked up like England's crown jewels because he will destroy one in fewer than three days.
This rubber-feed-tub shredding ability is his only super-power that he will - if mistakenly given the chance - display in front of us.
Otherwise, he's a sneaky bushwhacker.
While the other horses move on, he will linger by the pickup innocently eating grass until his horse radar tells him we are no longer paying attention and the next time we look out the window, he will be gone, but something from the pickup will be laying on the ground.
We've never seen him pull the inner tubes out of the bin, but if we catch him walking around with one in his mouth, he drops it and walks away. Like it never happened.
He's always the one found right next to the house, aka the horse forbidden-zone. And, that one sunny day when the front door was open, I don't think my tennis shoe made its own way out door to kick his rear end for me. Although, that would've been nice.
I actually can only assume he is a fence crawler since I've never actually seen him climb through or go under any wire. I have simply found him on the wrong side of our fences, all too often. It's possible that he is a ninja, or he can fly, or he has psychic powers and teleports himself to the other side. One way or another, I predict that he will end up incarcerated over this.
In the meantime, I am launching a full-scale investigation into a vandalism case in which someone, and I'm not naming any names, Taz, but someone in the course of a 24-hour period mangled beyond practical repair a 10-speed bike kept stored near the shop.
Damage occurred to the bike frame, and the wheels were extensively bent when "someone" pulled and partially shredded the black rubber tires off and packed away the inner tubes and discarded them 50 feet away. Please see attached photo.
Anyone willing to rat out a certain herd mate is encouraged to come forward to receive a reward of grain.
(Rotten imp, thy name is Taz at email@example.com.)