Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Odd Visitor

Tonight followed the first day in a while in which I only put in an 8-hour day at the office as opposed to the usual 10 to 12-hour day. I was supposed to drive in to work, but had some more of the same health issues that I've had over the past six weeks and knew I couldn't handle the hour drive in each direction without hauling a Porta-Potty in the bed of my truck. Nor could I withstand waiting in line for the bathroom at the office. So, when 5:00 PM rolled around, I happily shut down my computer, put the horses to bed with their blankets and hay, changed into some comfy pajamas and climbed into bed. I even took all of my medications early and settled back to welcome some sleep.

Then the doorbell rang.

I looked at my husband, who was wandering around in his whitey tighties. He obviously couldn't get the door. My son was still clothed, so he answered it. He came into the bedroom and told me there was a girl outside who was selling horse tack.

I had to see what this was about.

I climbed out of bed and threw on a jacket, then went out onto the doorstep to see what was up. A young teenage girl stood there holding a brand new red halter and lead rope. She mumbled something about needing to buy her horse some hay, and would I buy this halter from her.

"Are you saying you want to trade that halter for some hay?" I asked.

Her eyes widened and she seemed to panic. She said, "No, I need a special hay. The grain type. I need to sell this for money. I have several other halters, so I don't need this one. It's brand new. It still has the tags on it."

I'm getting more confused by the minute. First off, if the tag is still on it, why doesn't she try to return it to the store where she bought it? Our local feed store has everyone's purchases in their computer, so you don't need a receipt. Secondly, if she doesn't need the halter, why did she buy it in the first place? Thirdly, if her horse was in need of feed, why was she spending her money on a halter she didn't need? Fourthly, what is the grain type of hay?

A part of me was thinking I'd be more than happy to help out a horse in need of grain-hay, whatever that is, but this girl's behavior didn't have me convinced that she was going to use that money to buy feed. I asked her what size the halter was. She had to dig around to look for the tag. "It's average," she said.

Alright now, when you buy a halter, don't you know what size it is that you bought? I had this image flash before my eyes of this girl shoplifting the halter and lead rope from the local feed store. I was getting more skeptical every time she opened her mouth.

I said, "No, that size won't work for me."

Her nervousness instantly turned to anger and she started tossing the halter around saying, "What do you mean? Why wouldn't this fit your horses? It's average!"

I said, "My horses need the smaller Arabian halters."

She continued fussing with the halter trying to hold it up so that I could see it better, insisting it will fit. I said no again.

Her voice then cracked as she started to cry. "Do you know anyone who will buy this halter from me? What about the people next door?"

I said, "They don't own horses. They just board them. I don't think they'd need one."

She said, "Do you board horses?" in a now hopeful tone.

"No, sorry."

She refused to leave until I referred her to someone else who owned horses. I pointed out a couple of houses she could try. I might have tried harder to pull the full story out of her, but I was standing on my doorstep in bare feet in my pajamas in freezing temperatures. I was already sick and suffering from the chills, so I didn't want to make myself any sicker. I didn't want to invite her in, because the dogs would have eaten her alive, but not before she'd be blinded by the sight on my husband in his underwear.

Based on her behavior, I had a gut feeling that she was hocking stolen items to raise money for drugs. I may be wrong. Her horse boarding question threw me for a loop. If it turns out that she was just an innocent girl in a desperate situation with her horse, I hope God will forgive me for not helping her, and will make sure that this girl and her horse get what they need. It's just that I've known so many alcoholics, drug addicts, and impulsive gamblers in my life, that I've learned how to evade the tricks they pull in order to scam me into supporting their habits.

When she first explained her situation, I was ready to load a couple of hay bales into the trunk of her car, but she made it sound like she was only willing to take money. There was just something about her reactions and range of emotions that made me worry that any money I handed her would only be used to expedite her fall deeper into whatever hell she had made out of her life. God speed, little girl, and take care of that horse... if there really is a horse involved.


Katharine Swan said...

NM, I think your gut instincts were correct. I don't think she has a horse in need of hay, otherwise she would 1) know about halter sizing and 2) would not be making up kinds of hay. Hell, you should have said, "I have grain hay!" just to see what she'd do.

I don't know whether it was necessarily drugs she was wanting money for, but it's obvious to me she didn't know much about horses, other than how to tell if someone has one in their yard. >:o(

Shirley said...

I don't think you need to worry about a horse being involved; clearly she wanted money, not hay, and her anger reinforces that. Perhaps you could ask the tack store if they have had any thefts lately. It really sounds to me as if she has major problems, because of the crying; that's not normal behavior. I hope she gets the help she needs.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Oh my! Good gut feeling and good for you for going with it. I'd have been as skeptical as you.

And now I would be extra careful about locking everything up and also warn your neighbors.

Too bad your plans of rest were disturbed. I know when I'm disturbed like that it's hard to get settled back down to get the rest I was soooo looking forward to. Hopefully you got yours.

Reddunappy said...

Sounds to me like you had the right gut reaction, sad that she felt she had to do that, to take advantage or ??
Geez do you just attract the crackpots or what LOL LOL

fernvalley01 said...

Sad, but I think you trust your gut on tht one . If her horse needs "special grain(?) Hay " she should know what it is . I think the unwillingness to take hay n trade and insisting on cash would make me wonder as well.Stay warm and get better

Paint Girl said...

You know, you trusted your gut on this one. It does sound awfully suspicious that she only wanted money. I was thinking the same thing as I was reading, that it was stolen. Especially when she started getting angry at you for not buying the halter.
I used to work in the public, where shoplifting was the norm, and of course they would try to come in and return the merchandise. Most were drug users.
Hopefully this girl really wasn't into drugs, but I believe you did the right thing and not give her money, or hay. And I am with you, what is this hay-grain? The only thing I can think of is the complete feeds, but it isn't called "the grain type". Strange.

sue said...

OOOHHH>.. I think you were extremely wise to follow your insticts!!!! something about all of that is quite fishy, just starting with the "time of day" that she arrived at your door. I totally understand about "the guilt about not helping someone out", but if she were in need of hay, she would have happily grabbed the bale(s) you offered!!! And not to make you "jumpy", but I would keep an even more careful eye around your farm....also, anyone in "need" will tell you their whole life story and then some, and usually won't hide one detail (at least that is my experince)... so... I wouldn't have any worries about the way you handled this.....

Sydney said...

Woah thats so weird. I would have been hesitant to give her money too. At least you know hay isn't gonna be traded for drugs or alcohol as likely as money,

Sydney said...

Oh I forgot. Maybe ask the feed store if they were missing a halter and explain the situation. They may have to look out for her next time if she really is shoplifting halters and stuff.

Mikey said...

Yep, stolen goods. Lock your doors and be careful. Check the local tack store and ask if they're missing some halters. Definitely, if she was really in need she would have taken the hay. You made the right decision there.

Promise said...

I think it was a good call also.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Yeah, sounds really fishy and her behavior was very odd. You made me LOL about her being blinded by the tighty whities.

Callie said...

Creepy, I'd be locking things up tight, Your gut instincts have to be right , because her story isn't. Yikes!

jane augenstein said...

Wow, that's pretty strange and kind of scary too! Sounds like you were right not to give her any money; who knows what kind of weird stuff she was into??? I'd sure keep my doors locked up tight!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I can't make heads or tails of that situation at all.
All I know for sure is that I don't permit door-to-door selling at my house. I get annoyed when anyone comes to our door except UPS, FedEx or one of our neighbors who had our mail delivered by mistake to their house.
I moved out to the country to get away from suburbia and all that entails.
I've often even considered putting up a solar operated gate that stops anyone from entering our driveway unless they've been invited.

Aren't I grouchy? lol!


Cheryl Ann said...

I, too, think you made the right decision. And, keep an eye on things for a while, too. She sounds creepy!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

So, I did call my local feed store and told the woman my story. She checked her halter inventory and said nothing was missing. She told me to try a couple of other stores, but I know them well and I doubt they'd notice something missing from their inventory, so I didn't bother. This one feed and tack store always has one teenage boy running both the store and the warehouse. So, when he is out back loading shavings into someone's truck, people can easily raid the store and walk out with whatever they want. They don't even have security cameras. They are good people and just expect others to be honest as well. This community is changing, though. There are too many people now for us to know everyone by face and/or name.