Subject: The old hand and the horseshoe
From: tim@clovis.UUCP (Tim Bowden)
Date: 30 Jan 92 09:30:06 GMT

The blacksmith shop was in the older side of town where the retireds gathered to spit and whittle. They were of the habit of visiting the smithy, though he did not encourage them.

Old Jake took himself pretty seriously, and he was, as usual in such cases, quite alone in that opinion. He never let on there was anything he didn't know. He was experienced in all phases of human existance, and did not mind if you knew it.

Jake ambled on by the forge and idly reached for one of a row of horseshoes on the firewall before it. Jake didn't realize at the time, though he very quickly had an inkling, that the shoes had only seconds ago lost the reddish-white tint they have when first out of the fire.

Jake dropped the metal with a clang and jammed his smoking hand into his pants and attempted to whistle with jaws of pure granite to stifle a scream. The smithy saw all this out of the corner of his eye.

``Might warm, warn't it?'' asked the smithy with a near-smile. ``Nope,'' asserted Jake. ``Just don't take me long to look at a horseshoe.''

[A Bonham, Texas, local legend]

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