Todd If you want to make a day of it and enjoy riding, there is a arm down the road from fly creek a little where you can go on a mule ride. I think it's called Fly Creek Freesians. They hace a web site. They have the fressians too as they do carriage rides and weddings and such with them. The mules are retirees from the Grand Canyon and are wonderful, gentle riding even for beginners. We went there last summer and it was a treat. The family that runs it lives there and all the kids are involved in some way. They have some little animals running around, i.e. the family pet pot bellied pig and such. They do a hay ride too. The baby about 5 months old at the time rode in the air conditioned cab with Dad. It was a real eye opener for the city kids we had along with us. We hope to go again soon.
In the wee hours of a morning in 1971, Big-D and I entered a park near downtown Neuremburg, looking for some park benches on which to catch a few hours sleep before taking the train back to our barracks in Schwabach. As we crossed a foot bridge over a senic waterway that connected numerous ponds in the park, I heard someone calling my name. "Frank!"
I heard it several times -- "Frank!" I asked Big-D "Did you hear someone calling me?"
He punched me in the arm (hard) and said "Goof, it's those birds over there" as he pointed to a small group of swans just appearing out of the dark. Perhaps it was my blood alcohol level, or damage to my ears from the volume of the music in the club we had just left at closing time, but what I thought was my name was really the honking of a few swans. Or rather, a large white one, a male, I presumed, paddling with several smaller ones -- his harem I supposed.
Figuring I could get a laugh out of Big-D, I ran to the end of the bridge, made a sharp turn and stepped into the shallow water of the pond and began taunting the swan. "You talking to me? Who do you think you are? You talking to me?" Trust me, Robert De Niro stole that line from me a few years later. As I got closer to the swans, the water got a little deeper. About the time the water had reached my knees, the male suddenly started screeching, spread his wings, rose up out of the water a bit and began running on the water towards me. He looked enormous, at least 10-feet tall with a 30-foot wingspan.
Well, my plan worked: Big-D was finally laughing. I spun around and began to run; a very difficult task as you know while you're in knee deep water, especially when you are wearing water buffalo sandals. And all the while, I could hear the swan gaining on me. By the sound of him, my first estimate of his size was very very conservative.
Just as I reached the shore, minus one sandal, the swan struck. He bit me half on the buttock, half on the back of my thigh. His screeching and honking were now replaced by my screams of pain. I kept trying to run but with my brand new disability--my right leg was paralyzed because a swan was attached to my right ass--I ended up running around in circles. Finally, after making 3 circuits, the swan let go of me and I was able to run straight again.
Of course, I got no sympathy from Big-D. He wouldn't even help me recover my lost sandal. It was a long train ride back to Schwabach that morning, barefoot and leaned over to prevent my new huge bruise from hurting any more than it already did. It didn't help that Big-D kept insisting the swan was only 3-feet tall, 4 at the most.
Last Edit: Apr 24, 2008 21:40:41 GMT -5 by frankcor
The random acts of kindness that we perform for one another, are far greater than any “miracle” we could discover or any riches we could accumulate. - Ralph