Begging the Bear

I went for the smell of wild roses pulsing in the vanilla of Ponderosas. For the June blues and purples: penstamon, flax, lupine, geranium. I went for the ninety-degree heat and cobalt skies after so many months by the wood stove, wearing a shawl. I went for the view from the ridge, to see what my valley looks like, green. I went to remind my horse that I am his leader in a fence less place. I went for sunburned shoulders.

My horse sees her first. Ups his head, pricks his ears.

“Hello?” she shouts up to me. “Could you wait a moment?”

We wait there on the ridge. You wouldn’t not.

“Say, I was wondering if you might come with me up the trail a bit. Seems like Logan and I can’t ride out here without a bear encounter. Just saw a mama and three cubs. Logan here doesn’t like bears. Doesn’t like the sight of them. Doesn’t like the smell of them. Of course, the whole woods smell like bear this time of year. It’s funny—the bears never used to bother him.”

I take in a clandestine sniff. Smells to me like roses and Ponderosas.

Read the rest here at the Parelli blog


Filed under Little Hymns to Montana, My Posts, Parelli Natural Horsemanship Blog Pieces

7 Responses to Begging the Bear

  1. Katie Andraski

    Oh S#*! This was fine writing. Something to think about. Oh S#*! Are you going to publish these “horse” essays as a memoir…This is amazing. I’ll be thinking on this for awhile…

    • lauramunson

      Hi, Katie– I have such a massive body of work after all these years of nose-to-the-computer, and Parelli has been nice enough to offer me a regular gig on their blog, so I’m having fun digging through my old, never been published essays in my file marked “horses.” I have never thought of turning it into a memoir, but that’s not a bad idea at all! I am planning to write a memoir about writing because I have a LOT to say on that matter. Thanks for being such a loyal reader. Working on something for the Huffington Post right now that I’m enjoying. Will post here once it’s up. yrs. Laura

      • Oh I bet you’ve got a lot to say on that!!!! Can’t wait to read it. I too have worked for years without recognition…so I know about that kind of dogged work. You do need to weave together the horse one. I bet it’s close to being finished too. I’ve heard that horses are HOT in publishing…And you write about them so very well. That Begging the Bear is so very fine…My oh my…

  2. Laura, I am glad you are digging through your old essays because I love your writing. The last line was just perfect! I hope you are feeling better!

    • lauramunson

      Thanks, Ayala. I wish I was better at visiting everybody’s blogs! Please forgive me if I am not as abundant in my comments as you all have been. I don’t know where to find the time and still get my novel done. Ugh. I could spend my whole day just reading all the amazing things you all write. Thanks for being a loyal reader. Means so much. Hopefully 2011 will find me with some more time on my hands…until the paperback launch in April. Next summer? The generosity I find on the internet is so amazing. I want to return it. So please accept my thanks here, and I will hope to get over to asunkissedlife more often. yrs. Laura

  3. Oh an my friend has talked about how her horses talk to her, and now I’m beginning to hear their voices, especially my Tessa. She is such an intense presence. She reminds me of my mother. And Morgen reminds me of my other mother, who is still alive and lives in Maine. Both women are named Jean and Gene. Tessa is very serious and intense, but can radiate happiness when we have a good ride. She stands in the barn door looking at me (pimping me for treats) while I clean the barn. And my trainer says Morgen is fluffy, sees the world as A Okay Today, is vivacious and happy, and as a riding horse very steady, though she’s very, very green. My trainer says she’s more predictable than Tessie. My mom, Jean, was very serious and my other “adopted mom” Gene sees the silver lining and is happy.

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