Practical Joke with a Horse — Still Not There Yet pg194–195

Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic

Mernie Buchanan
2 min readJan 25, 2021


Jerry the Horse by Catherine Buchanan circa 1996

Many friends, some competent psychics and critters helped me through those strange years of early sobriety. My neighbor Sharon across the back alley had a gorgeous antique carriage, a garage full of tack and Jerry and Daisy — two huge draft horses who pulled tourists and brides around. My large side garden had gone to weeds. Sharon and I rigged a corral so Jerry and Daisy could clomp over to graze the tall grass. Daisy was just a big horse, but Jerry was magnificent, and the calmest being I ever stood next to. Besides being a silent weed whacker and mulcher, Jerry became my touchstone of sanity, and it turned out, a great big practical joker.

My sister Catherine called me one hot summer afternoon. She was in a bad mood, would like a bath and asked if she could please use my tub? I was fine with that, but when both our moods are tenuous and/or diabolical it can get tricky. I noticed Jerry chomping weeds in the side yard and got an idea.

There was an aging bag of carrots in the fridge, so I broke them into pieces. Jerry’s huge head was only a little bit smaller than the wide open bathroom window that was right at his height of over six feet. I started by making a clicking noise and handing him some carrot out the window. Every few minutes for the next hour I would repeat it, and got him to reach further and further into the bathroom to grab his treat with his big, smacking lips. I cleaned and filled the tub with hot, fragrant water, got a fresh towel, clicked a mouth noise and gave Jerry another carrot. By now he was catching on and really reaching in. — From Chapter 10

No one can tease, torment or practical joke us better than a sibling can. As Catherine says, “We know where each other’s buttons are because we made them. Then we stand on them.” Using a seventeen hand draft horse to send my sister backwards into a full tub fully clothed was the ‘gotcha’ whoopee cushion of my life. Fortunately she was uninjured, and the outburst of laughter from her, me and the horse was the release of a lifetime of sister issues.

Catherine has also enjoyed a notable career as an artist, and she later painted Jerry’s portrait as a gift. His big, happy face watches over me in my office to this day. This is the only image of the 170+ artworks illustrating this blog that wasn’t made by me. Jerry the Horse by Catherine Buchanan is included with permission.

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Mernie Buchanan

Originally from CA & Las Vegas, I now paint and write in Woodstock NY. All images are my original art & photos. Links to more at