I press the button on the radio, “Six-O in pursuit of two horses.”
There is dead silence on the line while I put my truck into park and grab my lasso.
Some static on the line is followed by, “Did you say horses on the street? I thought your were 10-7 to pick up a trapped Opposum from the local prison”
“10-4. Just saw them running loose less than 1/2 a mile from the freeway.” I kick open the door and rush toward them.
“I’m sending another officer to your location.” My supervisors voice crackles on the airwaves.
I am joined by 3 citizens in two trucks in a car in chasing these horses. We corner them- but as I draw near them twirling my lasso by my side I remind myself of what I learned in Animal Control classes all those years ago. A horse’s defense mechanism is -flight. They will run away when scared.
So they escape and we chase them. Another officer shows up to help me but overtime I draw near they run away. I get on top of the platform behind his truck and we chase them around the block. The lasso I’m twirling over my head makes me feel like a cowboy.
Our task is to keep them away from the freeway and tire them by making them run in circles. 20 minutes later they are sweating from every pore. They give up. The owner corals them back and I issue a citation to a VERY IRATE woman who reminds me of my race and how she pays my salary. At no point is she thankful for us saving her horses.
Then I head to the state prison, where the guards escort me to the trap where an opossum has been baited by a rat.
The stench of the decaying mouse competes with the molded cheese smell of the inmates. Prisoners remind me of my race again when I walk back holding up the trap like a trophy. The mafia movie references of rats and animals are not lost amongst the howls and whistles and occasional comments about my ass.
For someone who has never seen a razor-wire, been reminded of their race, been hit-upon by someone of the same sex or dealt with an irate horsewoman, I’ve had two unique experiences in less than an hour.
Whatever else this job has in store for me– I think I’m ready for it.