Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Living in what seems to be the most inhospitable climate on earth is not necessarily something to fret about. After all, the desert has lots of nice qualities too- if you can thwart their less fun counterparts. One method of thwarting is to bear miserable spines, thorns or prickers.
As I leaned forward in my saddle to dislodge the large chunk of cholla cactus firmly embedded in my boot and unfortunately for him, the horse- I looked around me. Yes, it did indeed seem that every last weed, bush, plant and tree was thickly covered in spines, thorns or spikes. "Great" I thought. I live on a giant pincushion.

Being the wimp both you and I know I am, this was a scary prospect. Millions of needles ready to pierce my flesh at any giving moment...jumping cholla ready to leap out and get me at the first wrong step.

I have since learned that there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with the perilous prickers.
As I brushed the thorns out of the chest and neck of the horse I was riding, I realize the big doof had something right. He had gotten into his sticky situation by straight just bowling a cactus over. This is typical for this particular animal...he is huge and really, nothing stops him. Why should this? His attitude was admirable.

Now am I suggesting that you charge any cactus you come across? Absolutely not. Are you crazy? What I am suggesting is simply ignoring it. Be careful where you step, and observe the beautiful desert flora. Enjoy the great outdoors anyway. If you do manage to pick up a cactus related injury on the way, you can do what he does and attempt to eat the local shrubbery while someone pries the needles from your skin.

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