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Our neighbor, I’ll call him “Tom,” showed up last week to borrow a couple tools from my husband. The trim, grey-bearded horse owner fits in well on our dirt road where all us locals are different in our own way. His expression is bemused, his humor cynical. The house number stenciled on the rock near his driveway intrigues me with the message: “Friend of Larry’s.” Like the arena owner up the road, he loves his horses but doesn’t put up with nonsense from them.
He was telling us about it as he sat in our living room chatting — first about working years at the plant, being at the union, being gypped. Then the horse story, teaching one to mind the electric fence so he wouldn’t escape again. Also, how his aged horse died and how the equine buddy left behind is pining for his old friend.