Michael's Monthly Column "Throwing My Loop"

Throwing My Loop…    

By:  Michael Johnson  



     Have you ever found one?  A pearl of great price, I mean?  Ever discovered something that had far more worth than any other thing you had known?  I found one – a pearl of wisdom; a thing of more value than any I had before.  It wasn’t a material thing; I owned some of those.  No matter how excited I was with a new purchase, those things always lost their luster.  The pearl I found still shines.  Still reminds me of its value every day.  When things are new, they are shiny and smell nice, but they become familiar.  This thing is still strong.  After thinking about it for the longest time, I think it was love that helped me find it.  Love brought it to me.
     I saw the colt again in a little trap in Oklahoma when I was almost fifty years old.  It had been such a long time since I had seen him.  He was standing by his momma on that day – he couldn’t have been more than a month old back then.  Dark, dark gray, he was.  On that day, I remembered the first time I ever saw him.  First time I saw him, I was only four or five.  He was in the pages of a book called The Pokey Little Puppy.  Saw him again when I was eighteen.  As my generation did in those days, I sometimes hitchhiked to school.  Some kind soul would take me most of the way, then drop me off at the turn some two miles from the community college.  Waiting there for some fellow student to hitch me the rest of the way, I watched him every morning playing with his momma.  And now here he was again – this time in Oklahoma – me almost fifty, him just a month.
     He came in my life for good just after that.  How is a long story, and one full of grace.  For now, let’s just say he finally came home.  As he grew older, I began to ride him.
     After a few weeks, things were not going…well, shall we say things were not going well?  The colt was dull in the face, reluctant, and stubborn.  Not at all what I had in mind.  So I called Bronc.  He came to help me – and he brought me a pearl of great price.
     We worked for two days.  He never mentioned the pearl – never told me about it.  Never spoke the words – but gradually, I began to see and hear.  When he left, I had it.  Had it in my hand and in my mind…and it’s still there.  I look at it from time to time and it still shines.  Still helps me.  Helps me with my wife, my students, my horses, and with the Rowdy Cow Dog.  Now when I hear people complain about others at work, stupid students, and worthless working dogs, I know they haven’t seen or heard this pearl of great wisdom. 
     Bronc gave it to me over the course of two days in a dusty, little round pen.  He never said the words, but somehow helped me to see them.  (I suppose he knew had he told me straight out, that would have made me mad.)  Apparently, I was unable to hear them before or perhaps no one ever said them.  When someone said them this time, I heard them.  Love for that horse, I think.  I think it was love that opened my eyes…and my ears.  I was so desperate to help that colt, I think love helped me listen.  Because of that, I found the most valuable thing I have.  The words helped me understand more in life –  about people who didn’t behave toward me as I thought they should.  And the words helped me understand stupid students, dumb horses, and misbehaving dogs.  The words he told me about why Blue was dull in the face, reluctant, and stubborn.  He never said the words, but here are the words…
     “It’s not him.  It’s you.”

          Michael Johnson


Michael heading for the great Sonny Gould

Michael & Blue

Healing Shine

The Rowdy Cow Dog

Please stop
and sign our Guestbook

Send Michael
an Email

Michael Johnson Books
1172 CR 4122  Campbell, Texas 75422  (903) 862-2082

Copyright © 2003 Michael Johnson Books. All rights reserved.
webmaster pswope@candw-webmasters.com