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Present for Lindsey

February 9, 2011

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Lindsey. She had the most amazing, beautiful, intelligent, modest cousin EVER, Emily.



I mean, we were legit bffs.


Then one day, my mom decided to take us to Tennessee to go horseback riding. Actually, it was a free vacation from a time share company, so the trip also included ridiculous amounts of coloring pictures at the kid’s table in the back of a conference room and listening to the nice older couple play “monopoly” in the hotel room next door. But on the second day, there was horseback riding.


Lindsey and I got on our horses and sat delightedly as the nice man on the lead horse taught us how to steer, go forward, and stop. We tugged at our own reins, dutifully following his lessons, fully confident in our ability to control the actions of a creature five hundred times our size.



The nice man clicked to his horse and they began to move briskly down the path. Our horses followed lethargically, but Lindsey’s horse started to pick up pace as it rounded the corner toward the petting zoo.


It was at that moment in time that the nice man became the man of questionable ethics (or the mustachioed menace… either or). Why he knowingly gave this demented horse to a small child, we will never know.



“Uh, little darlin’, your horse really likes those llamas over there, so if you could just hold tight to the reins and say ‘whoa’…”


But it was too late.


A wild frenzy radiated from the eyes of Lindsey’s beast like laser beams. While most horses veered off the path in search of fulfilling the unending calls of their stomach, Lindsey’s horse wanted to fulfill his unending llama fetish. Lindsey tugged on the reins and screamed “whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa” until it became some kind of rabid-horse alarm, but her tiny little frame was powerless against such a mighty and determined monster.


Meanwhile, I was laughing hysterically. I would pay for this later, when my horse would lodge my head in the fork of a large branch across the path, but right now I was giggling so hard I could have peed my pants. Lindsey and her horse were far enough from the path that all I saw was a horse trotting towards a cute little llama.



Lindsey saw something more like this:



So needless to say, Lindsey was scarred for life. This near-paranoia provided hours of entertainment on my end. That night, she sat wide-eyed in horror as I recounted tale after tale of llama attacks.


I think Lindsey expected it would be like the knock-knock-who’s-there-aren’t-you-glad-I-didn’t-say-banana? joke, where if you put up with the annoying part for long enough,you get a happy ending. But despite a multitude of changes to the story itself, the ending was always the same: the llama’s acid-spit killed the poor, unsuspecting subject of my tale.


For years to come, the word “llama” alone elicited a worthwhile reaction.


Until now.


Because when I got back from my summer trip to Gatlinburg, I brought Lindsey this truly inspirational llama plushie. It even looked menacing. I showed up to the fast food establishment where she works and walked up to the drive-thru window. I bent over and held up my prize so it was the only thing one could see from inside. Then I waited… and giggled a lot. But when she rounded the corner, her reaction?! Only mild surprise! AND SHE HUGGED IT!



I knew it was time to kick it up a notch.


So, Lindsey, dear, here is your new boggart-fuel:


RAWR! *spit* *claw* *death*



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