Horse Lover

                                                                    Horse Lover


                                                                   Rusty Fleming    


Some few years back, visiting with my friend Ricardo Palacios, legendary rancher y abagodo from the brush country of south Texas, now gone on to the heavens of his ancestors, was telling me about a guy from the far-a-way past that was a renowned horse thief from the rural areas around Webb, Jim Hogg and  LaSalle Counties,,,,this hombre, kind of a trail bum, would ride along and see a horse he’d fall in love with and have to own,,,,,usually in somebody’s pens or staked out near somebody’s jacal,,,,,jacal being a brush hut so to speak lived in by those indigenous peoples, los native mexicanos of the deepest of south Texas brush country,,, and he’d figure out a way to steal that horse,,, and he’d usually succeed,,, the guy must have been a bandit of limited capacity to think he’d not get caught as he’d always take the stolen horse(s) back to his jacalito y corrales hid somewhere in that south Texas monte,,,deep within the mesquite and blackbrush jungles,,, 

,,,el ladron de caballo would eventually be caught, apprehended by the law, incarcerated, convicted and released after serving heees time,,,,the good part was he never attempted to sell one of his ill-acquired mounts,,,so the rightful owner would get his horse back,,,most time in a hungry, thinner state, but at least back where he or she belonged,,,this individual was known by one and all over a vast amount of country, so,,,if and when a horse turned up missing, the authorities would pretty well know where to look for the stolen goods,,,this went on for years until one day, the judge had had enough and sentenced him to several years in a Texas state owned incarceration facility,,,not just a local imprisonment. When the sentence was handed down, one of the former horse theft victims was heard to comment, “Ten years is a pretty long time, but not near long enough to change the bandit’s ways”,,, as they had branded the thief as a “perro-juevero”,,, as in an egg sucking dog,,,,,, he’d never change his ways, not enough “time” to ever reform,,, ‘cause like an egg suckin’ hound, as soon as the opportunity presented itself again, old habits would kick in,,,and another hapless unguarded horse would fall victim to theft,,,, but by then he was an old man, considered harmless, never far from where he lived, therefor easy to find,,,,,,,making it easier for a missing horse to be located and it’s captor to be found,,, at least the theft victims would get their horse back,,,, Ricardo said that the ladron viejo’s finally having died, resulted in a lot of short-term horse theft. 

1 comment

Ronald Stevenson

I truly enjoyed this story as Ricardo Palacios was a great friend, whom I still miss every time I drive past his gate!

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