And so your grandfather, Enos Louis Blair, had enlisted in the Union Army in 1861. He was a mounted riflemen who mustered in Rouses Point, New York. I’ll pick the story up from there and let my imagination do the rest…
Enos stepped into the stables and drew a deep breath. All the stress and anxiety about what he’d just done melted away as he took in the barn and horses stalled within. This, he knew; here was the familiar. He’d grown up on a small farm in Canada and handled horses his entire life.
He was greeted by a wicker from an ugly runt of a paint and walked over to pet the frightened creature.
“C’est bon,” he whispered in French, “mes ami.”
“Watch that one.”
Enos turned to the man approaching.
“C’est vrais?” He asked the horse. “You like to bite?”
The animal pinned its ears as if to answer and startled at Enos’ bellowing laugh.
“A lively spirit. Un combattant!”
The man shuffled through his paperwork.
“Glad you like him,” he said and made a mark on one of the sheets. “‘Cause now he’s your mount.”
“He is so young.”
Enos felt his irritation rising. “He can be ridden?”
“Nope, well, some. He’s green broke. Just came in today.”
“This will not do,” Enos tried to find the words, but when upset, fell into his language, “C’est un erreur. You understand? A mistake? I am old.”
The man chuckled. “Do you ride?”
“Then who better to teach than one who knows?”
He left Enos to ponder that.
Enos glanced at the horse who had moved back into his stall to continue eating. A scrawny thing, all legs and no brain. He’d have a hell of a time whipping that mongrel into shape over the next 5 weeks. He’d do it though. He had to. Both of their survival would depend on building that sacred bond between horse and rider. Once they entered battle, they had to understand each other.
They’d have to be a team.
If you’re interested, or missed the first two installments about Enos, here are the links:
Thanks for stopping by!