“Wahey!” shouted the young man, modern and clean-shaven as the cart bounced over the bobbly road, dragged speedily onward by healthy, wealthy horses.
A Moustachioed Gentleman, old-fashioned and moustachioed, looked puzzled. “In my day we always said yee-ha.” And then he demonstrated into the wind: “Yee-Ha!”
The young man did not say anything else. When they reached the ranch they disembarked and the Moustachioed Gent tipped him generously. “Wahey,” the young man could not help but say.
The Moustachioed Gent let it pass. He hadn’t come all the way just to argue with a man who was younger and less moustached than he. “Which way to the stables?” he asked and the young man pointed.
He found his old horse easily, standing on his hind legs and leaning on the stable door with his one good arm. His second arm was missing, not there at all. You couldn’t call it a stump as such. It just ended at the shoulder. The one-armed horse nodded a greeting. He had been silent since the early Eighties. Still, it was not a bad life at the stables.
The Moustachioed Gent leant on the stable door with one of his two good elbows. He didn’t like to leave his second arm hanging unused by his side, not when he was visiting the one-armed horse and so he fidgeted around with his moustache whilst the two of them stood in silence. He liked to visit once every six months and reminisce in silence with the one-armed horse, hoping that his old partner was reliving the same memory. The two of them had spent a good deal of time together in years gone by. Yee-ha!
There really was no way of knowing but the Moustachioed Gent knew that to speak about these things would betray the silence that the horse had worked so hard for. That one-armed horse had hooked around him a deep silence so decades-strong that it would be a betrayal for the Moustachioed Gent to break it just for old time’s sake. He was just an old one-armed horse and the Moustachioed Gent had no intention of taking away from him the one thing he had.
He would have liked to tell him some new things, that would have been good. But maybe history was the only thing the one-armed horse was interested in and maybe his silence was a big full stop to time, a one-hoof held up like a stop sign gesture.
“Hey buddy, you know how we used to ride around and when the sun was out and the wind was good and everything was fine and dandy I would stand up and shout ‘yee-ha’ as we belted about here and there and you would neigh,” the Moustachioed Gent did not say.
The horse did not nod to tell him to continue.
“Well nowadays, you’ll never guess what but they don’t say ‘yee-ha’ anymore,” he didn’t continue. “They seem to say ‘wahey’. I don’t think it sounds as good but then that’s nowadays for you. I just thought you might like to know. It’s odd how times change.”
It was a pity.