Like all new residents arriving at Two Bucks Farm, Regal Band had to stand a cursory inspection by the farm's dominant female, an obvious imposition to both.
Surveying her husband's acquisition with a sharp eye honed from ten years of raising, riding and showing world class stock horses, she walked around the mare like a judge in a halter class, examining every aspect of her conformation. Regal, suspicious of interaction with any stranger, signaled her resentment with flattened ears.
Two titans of independence meeting in bone-hurting cold.
Back when the dominant female was still a teenager, some idiot—a male no doubt trying to be helpful—published in Housekeeping Monthly "The Good Wife's Guide." A bible of chauvinism, it laid down rules on how to greet your husband upon his return from a hard day's work: with "a warm smile," "delicious meal," and "a ribbon in your hair so you will look refreshed." It also suggested that women "over the cooler months...light a fire for him to unwind by" and to never "ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment."
These were the kinds of things taught the dominant female by her Czech immigrant mother but that had never crossed her mind since.
She gave Regal an evil eye.
"Not bad." This was effusive as she got with compliments, the breeder's ego being too big already. "How much?"
"Fourteen thousand. Stole her."
"How'd you do that?"
"Hell, nobody else bid. I was the only bidder."
"What's wrong with her, then?"
"That you know about."
"So why weren't they bidding?"
"I don't have a clue. Spotty record, I guess."
"Dead foal. Crooked foal."
"Pretty spotty. You must just know more already than they do, right?"
"Look at her. This is a great-looking mare."
But the buyer's remorse to which he was prone had been ignited. "Well, we can always get her in foal and sell her in November. She'll bring a lot more in foal."
"She's not in foal now?"
"No. Barren. Aborted a Meadowlake."
"Oh, well. That's nice. Good luck then." She shook her head and gave Regal another once-over. "Good-looking mare though."
His attention having been properly refocused, without either a bite or groin kick, the dominant female left the barn and returned to the house. But not, he was certain, to light the fire.
Pub date: 03/13/03
Price: $14.00/22.00 Canada
8 pp. b&w photos
Carton Quantity: 32
Selling Territory: WORLD EXCL. UK & COMMONWEALTH
Pub history: PublicAffairs HC 1-58648-117-7