It was 34 degrees out, I was 22 years old, and I was sitting in the snow.
Well, okay. I’m exaggerating. I wasn’t exactly sitting IN the snow – I was technically crouched on the edge of a set of wooden steps, outside a never-used guard shack – only my feet were actually in the snow.
There really wasn’t any reason for me to be crouching in near-freezing temperatures, on rotted wood, in the snow.
It’s just… I had finished feeding the horses, and it was at least 200 feet back to my cabin. The record snowfall made trudging something you had to pay attention to – with two feet of snow, you couldn’t just meander without looking. it was too easy to fall into troughs, or holes, or other items that hid beneath the pristine, innocent-looking mounds of snow.
So in order to get back to my cabin, I would have to put aside the book I was reading and actually walk there.
That would take at least three minutes.
Did I mention it was my first time reading through the Da Vinci Code. Whether you approve of the plot or not, Dan Brown knows how to write a good suspense tale, and I was at an incredibly crucial moment.
Having to wait three minutes while waiting to figure out a crucial plot element in a book is an ETERNITY.
So…. instead of walking back to my cabin and reading the remainder of the book while sprawled on my couch in luxurious warmth, I was crouched on the rotted steps with my feet in the snow and my nose turning numb.
Keep in mind this was back in 2003/2004 – Amazon wasn’t really a “thing” like it is now, and when you live hours from the nearest bookstore, the first time through any book will grip you like that, much less a bestseller like the Da Vinci Code.
I was just reaching the critical part of the scene when….
Norman was a sweet, bottle-fed goat who followed people around wherever they went. I do mean everywhere – somewhere along the lines Norman had decided he was a human, and that the company of horses was no match for hanging out with people. It was cute at first, but eventually became a little annoying. “Wranglers, the goat is out again” was a familiar cry coming over the ranch radio – that goat could slip out of everything.
Still – he had silky white fur and large, intelligent, amber eyes so it was easy to forgive him anything.
Until that day. That day, Norman crossed a line.
The bad news is that…. well, if you’re ever over at my house and if you ever want to read that particular book…. well, I just hope you already know the big reveal, because the book now opens permanently to that page.