|The Transformation Story Archive||Horses and Doggies and Cats, Oh my...|
Bill arrived at work with a large plastic trash bag full of lawn clippings. He had almost made it to the privacy of his office when Charlie, his boss, spotted him. "Bill! I need your schedule update on my desk by tomorrow. Uh..What's that?" With a sheepish grin Bill replied, "lunch."
"Bill, step into my office, we have to talk. Have a seat."
Bill took great pains to make sure his imaginary tail fit between the seat back and cushion as he sat down. Then he assumed the posture that his boss had watched Bill slowly develop over the last several months. Feet and legs together, arching away from the chair, his ankles flexed so only his toes touched the floor. His arms parallel to his lap, wrists flexed with only his finger tips resting on his knees, and his neck arched in what looked like a most uncomfortable manner.
"Bill, this really has to stop. You are an asset to the company, your work is superb, and I never have to worry if you will complete an assignment on time. Although only God knows how you manage it, typing with a pencil held in your mouth. I want you to get some help."
Bill smiled, "Thanks but there's nothing wrong, nothing at all. I feel fine, never better." Charlie sighed. "Bill, you can't keep pretending you're a horse. It's starting to scare some of the other employees. A big guy like you, well they worry you're going off the deep end. I know you'd never hurt anyone, and it's just a quirk of your personality, but you really need to see someone that can help you."
Bill was scratching his shoulder with his upper front teeth. "Does this mean I'm fired?"
Charlie took a card from his rolodex. "No, of course not. I just want you to talk to Doctor Porter. I made a few calls and he is supposed to be the best in the business. I've made an appointment for you this after noon."
Bill refused to sit in the doctors waiting room. There was no place for his tail in the over stuffed armchairs. The receptionist thought she had seen everything, but seeing Bill pacing about, flaring his nostrils, and on occasion whinnying, totally unnerved her. She jumped from her seat when the buzzer on the intercom sounded. She opened the door to the doctors office, never turning her back on Bill. "Mr. Smith, the doctor will see you now, right this way."
"Mr. Smith...Bill! Hi I'm doctor Porter. I'm pleased to meet you!" The little man with the horn-rimmed glasses leaned across his desk to shake Bill's hand. Bill held out his hand but kept the thumb tightly held to the index finger. "Oh, I see!" Doctor Porter said, while vigorously shaking Bill's hand despite the thumbless presentation. "So, you've hooves now!" Bill nodded.
"Well, we shall begin straight away then, please come with me." The doctor led Bill to the parking lot and opened the door to his car. Bill shook his head. "I was prepared for this laughed the doctor. Over here!" He led Bill to the other side of the building. There was a stock trailer and pickup truck waiting. Bill stuck his head into the trailer looked around the walked in. The doctor closed the trailer. "Everything ok in there?" "Yes." bill replied.
It was a half hour or so before they arrived at their destination. From interstate 90, through the slatted sides of the trailer, Bill could see the faded white letters painted on the roof of a barn, barely visible from the highway now. "SHIRES. See the world's largest horses."
In a few more minutes the trailer was open. Bill stepped out and looked around. The once brightly painted buildings were dull and faded, the paint peeling. Weeds grew in abundance but here and there, the old cement sidewalk between the buildings, although cracked and heaved, shown through. He didn't see any horses.
An old man dressed in overalls stepped out of the barn and waved to them. "Doctor Porter, I presume?"
"Yes, Mr. Temple? Is everything ready? As we discussed during our phone conversation last week?" "Sure thing Doc. It's the damnedest thing I've ever heard of, but as long as you're willing to pay, well you can see how busy we are here since the new interstate when in."
Doctor Porter turned to face Bill. "Ok Bill, into the barn. You want to be a horse? Well now you're going to be treated like one. After a week I'll return and we'll discuss how you feel about being a horse. Mr. Temple, for the next seven days, I leave him in your care, if you need me day or night, you have my number, call me."
Scott Temple had seen better days, the tourists use to come in droves to see his horses. These days few were interested and even fewer would turn off the interstate. So his little tourist trap had withered and died. Now no one stopped here anymore. He was surprised when doctor Porter had called with his proposal but the money was good so he decided, what the hell, why not?
Scott showed Bill to a clean stall between two aged Shire mares. There was a pail of water and salt block hanging in the stall. A flake of hay lay on the floor. "Bill, I don't know why you want to be a horse, a bit touched I guess, but I'll do as the doctor says and you'll be properly taken care of.
Bill walked into the stall. Then he turned to look at Scott, smiled and said "thanks."
The next morning Scott fed the horses, including Bill. Oats, molasses, and soy bean meal, which Bill ate without comment. Then he turned Bill and the two mares out to pasture. For the first time the mares were free to check Bill out. They nuzzled and sniffed for a while, then became bored and began grazing.
That evening Scott led the herd back to the barn. Gosh! That Bill is a hairy son-of-a-gun. That big head, all that hair, and he must weigh three-hundred pounds, you could almost believe that he is part horse.
Doctor Porter called. "Hi Doc! Naw, this isn't working out as you told me it would. He seems to be enjoying it. Ok, yeah, I'll do that."
Scott returned to the barn and opened Bill's stall. "Ok Bill, off with the clothes, horses don't wear clothes!" Bill just looked at Scott. Scott couldn't tell if Bill was defiant or passive, so he started pulling Bill's shirt off. "Jesus H. Christ! What is going on here!" Scott was flabbergasted! Bill's hide, and it really was hide from the neck down, was covered with a fine black coat of hair. Scott ran from the barn, forgetting to close Bill's stall.
"Doc Porter! You'd better get over here right away and see this! As he described what he had seen to the doctor, he happened to glance out the window and saw Bill wandering around the barn yard, picking at stray blades of grass. "Shit! I mean it Doc! Get over here now!" Bill's pants had ripped open, only a few tattered shreds remained, tangled in his tail.
Scott stood on the porch watching Bill. He's a...what do you call it? Centaur? No, more like a satyr, but with horse instead of goat legs. Scott wondered if anyone would pay to see it. Then, much to Scott's disappointment, Bill continued changing. Scott watched as Bill's arms and hands became forelegs and hooves. Bill dropped to all fours just as his neck and head finished turning into those of a horse.
Doctor Porter was terrified. "If anyone finds out about this my career will be ruined, what are we going to do?" Don't worry Doc. I'll just keep him here. Of course someone will have to pay for his up keep, or we could just send him to the packing plant. The doctor looked horrified. "No, no! If anyone ever found out, well, it would be murder. I'll pay for you to keep him here. Remember you're just as much to blame as me, maybe more. Who knows what you did to that poor man after I left him here?
"Look! I did only what you asked. I treated him like a horse, and I'm gonna continue treating him like a horse. He seems to like it, and no one will become suspicious. The doctor calmed down a little. "Yes, we'll tell anyone who inquires that he ran off, they'll believe that. No one could recognize him now."
Bill continued to change. Scott figured from looking at his teeth, that his age had regressed to maybe six years old, or there about. Bill had a voracious appetite and gained both height and weight quickly. Scott quickly used this as an excuse to demand more money each month from the good doctor
The new sign, freshly painted on the barn roof, is much more visible from the highway.
"SHIRES! See the worlds LARGEST horse!" Scott was lecturing to a small gaggle of picture snapping tourists, as he lead them to the barn. "Yep! The largest horse in the world, thirty-eight hands high, over twelve and a half feet at the shoulder! No honey, those other "little" horses aren't fat. They're mares, and they are carrying foals. Uh-huh! Pregnant! Bill come on over and say hello to these nice people."
The huge black horse casually ambled over to the gate. He towered over the people, cutting an imposing figure. His gentle brown eyes looked over the tourists carefully.
Scott loved this part. "So Bill, everything ok, happy you stayed?" Bill shook his great head up and down vigorously. "That's amazing." Said a woman wearing a love me love my horse sweatshirt. "I'm sure he understands everything you say!" Scott chuckled. "Uh-huh, and I expect his foals will be just as smart!" Bill shook his head again.
Shires copyright 1996 by Jack deMule.
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