Well, the way I heard it was like this. There was a farmer over in Porter County who was plowin’ his field when the air suddenly cooled and everything went dead silent. The sky went dark and it began to rain. It was pourin’ down in buckets and the thunder was cracklin’ and the lightnin’ was flashin’ somethin’ fierce. And a bolt of lightnin’ spat out of the clouds and struck the farmer’s horse. It leaped up and snorted somethin’ pitiful and keeled over right where it was standin’. The farmer, he didn’t know what to do. He was just standin’ there in complete shock with the storm drenchin’ him and thrashin’ at his clothes. So he headed for his house through the blastin’ wind before the lightnin’ caught sight of him, too.
The next day he asked his helper to go out there and bury his horse. But his helper didn’t want to do it. Buryin’ a horse was a lot of work. He wouldn’t do it for no helper’s wages. They argued and bickered until the farmer offered him five dollars plus his usual wages. The helper wanted six-fifty, and he wanted it cash on the barrel, and the farmer finally agreed.
The helper took up a spade and headed across the field. Sure enough, there was the horse. It turned out just gettin’ the plow and harness off was six-fifty’s worth of work. The farmer didn’t mention that. So while he was diggin’, another storm brewed up just as fierce as the first one. The helper was cussin’ and diggin’ fast as he could when a bolt of lightinin’ shot down and hit the horse again, and woke him up. It scared the b’Jesus out of him, but it woke him up. And when it tried to scramble to its feet, it slipped in the mud and fell into the hole right on top of the helper, and neither of ‘m could get up. Then, as the hole filled with rain, the helper hollered and gasped and struggled and finally drowned. The horse kept on strugglin’ until he finally got up on all fours and climbed his way out.
All night it rained and the sides of the hole caved in and all the dirt that was dug out turned to mud and flowed back in. So, after the rain stopped, and it all sunk into the earth, there weren’t nothin’ but a shallow dip where the hole used to be, and nobody was the wiser.
You can imagine the farmer’s surprise the next mornin’ when he seen his plow horse munchin’ peacefully on the weeds in front of his house, all clean as a whistle with his coat steamin’ from the drivin’ rain, just grazin’ like he was in the pastures of Heaven. The farmer, he had him a heart attack and died right there at the kitchen window, and there ain’t nobody who knows this story because there ain’t no survivors. And that’s a true story.