A Smart Horse

A story by Lynn Peasley Sanborn from 1930's

The boys were proud to be trusted to drive the wagon drawn by Old Prince, the family horse. The hay in the Old Field of the Peasley farm on Mason's Bay in Jonesport had been cut and dried. My father Edward and his cousin Eugene were sent to collect it. Getting the hay in was important. Without it they’d have nothing to feed Prince come winter.

They’d filled the wagon several times, driven it carefully along the road, and backed it into the barn. This was the part that took some skill. They pitched it into the hay mow, while the old horse waited patiently, and headed back to fill the wagon again.

Pitching hay in the hot summer sun is hot itchy work. The boys figured they deserved a quick dip in the bay when they’d filled the wagon with the last load of the day.

Just a quick dip, but boys aren’t always the best judge of time when they’re having fun. After cooling off, they climbed up over the bank to drive the wagon back to the barn. To their horror, both horse and wagon were gone. Harsh physical punishments were the norm at that time for even minor infractions, but to lose the horse and wagon! Their future would surely not be worth living.

The boys raced over the half mile to the barn in record time. And there was Prince and the wagon. He had not only taken it home, he backed it up to the barn door and was waiting for someone to open it!