When I saw the Good Samaritan page in my copy of Grit, my
neighbors immediately came to mind. Barb and Ralph Klein are two of the best neighbors anyone could have. They informed us when we first moved in that there
were “rules” for being their neighbors. First, they would bring us food.
Second, if we needed someone to watch the children and didn’t ask them, they would
be offended. They water our gardens and take care of our critters when we’re
gone (the dogs, cats, horses and chickens) and go out of their way to do nice
things for our family. They firmly refuse any monetary compensation, so I try
to give them unique gifts and homemade food. They also are on permanent “free
egg” status. One of the most memorable occasions when they stepped in to help
was when my horse escaped.
It was the evening of our daughter’s parent-teacher
conference. On my way to take our children to the Kleins’ house, I noticed one
of my horses had stuck her head under the fence in search of more grass.
Intending to shoo her back in, I walked down and raised my arms. She raised her
neck ... and the fence. She then proceeded to walk straight through.
Sighing, I went to the barn to get a halter and lead rope.
She took one look and took off down the road at a dead run. She’s gorgeous when
she runs, but when it’s away from you down the road, it’s not so pretty. My
intrepid husband had made it outside by then, so I shoved the halter and rope
at him and said, “Try to keep her in sight.” He jogged away while I tromped
after her, too, trying to cut her off.
Luckily, my neighbors had seen her charge by. Barb came to
corral the children, while Ralph fired up his trusty Rhino. The last thing I
saw was Hubby climbing into the Rhino. The guys tore off in hot pursuit. I was
going back to get a bucket of oats to lure her with when I thought: What if
my other horse figures out the same thing? I shored up the fence for a
temporary fix. I called around to get the teacher’s number so she knew we’d be
late. Then I rearranged the gates so we could drive my errant equine (provided
we could find her) into the pen without losing the other one.
Finally, I got the oats and trudged down the road. I
couldn’t see any trace of the Rhino, and here we were, looking for a black
horse at dusk. I was calling her, rattling the bucket, and wishing I’d thought
to put on a jacket when I saw headlights weaving erratically in the field near
the next mile road. I breathed a sigh of relief. They’re herding her back.
I didn’t know it was just Ralph until my mare got close enough to hear the
oats. Hubby was nowhere in sight.
Being without a halter, I rattled the oats so she would
follow me home. Ralph provided the light in the deepening darkness. I breathed
another sigh of relief to see my husband was back and manning the gate. The
horse walked back in as if nothing had happened.
We made it to the conference finally, only an hour late.
Thanks to our neighbors, I have my horse back. People have told me she would
have come back anyway, but they didn’t see her take off like her tail was on
fire. As I was thanking them profusely, Ralph said, “Aw, heck, that’s the most
fun I’ve had all month!” You just can’t beat neighbors like that!
Share your stories of Good Samaritans, helping hands,
paying it forward, and other altruistic deeds — whether you were on the
receiving end or you remember the great feeling of doing the right thing. Email
a 300- to 500-word article to firstname.lastname@example.org and we
may publish it in a future issue of the magazine. Mail articles to The Right
Thing, Grit and CAPPER’s Editorial, 1503
S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609.
The Good Samaritan involved in each printed article, if known, will receive a
five-year complimentary subscription.