Over the years, customers have given A. D. Carrol, 71, a lot of good tips. But the biggest and the best has to be the tip she just got waitressing at Ouisie's Table.
Carrol recalled, "I poured him a cup of coffee and brought him the bill. He gave me $15, and he looked up at me and said, 'Do you want a horse?'"
At first Carrol thought the regular customer -- a Texas builder and horseman -- was joking. The offer was serious -- and this wasn't just any horse.
Mailman Express is a thoroughbred race horse who has won $15,000 at the track. But the four-year-old's racing days are behind him and the horse was in need of a good home. A few days later, Carrol met Mailman Express.
She said, "He's the most gentle, docile... And being a race horse, they are usually nervous and jumpy. But I had a great time with him. He's gorgeous. The first time I saw him I fell in love with him."
The gesture surprised some in the restaurant.
Customer Beverly Maurice said, "I thought, 'That's got Texan all over it!'"
But the owner took the news in stride.
"Nothing surprises me," said Ouisie Jones. "Good things happen to good people like A. D. and she deserves all of it."
So how do you say thanks for a tip that stands 16 hands?
Carrol said, "I told him, 'Let me pay you something like a stipend of a dollar.' And he said, 'I will pay you a dollar.' And we argued for a few minutes and then he said, 'Hey, it's a done deal. We'll just call it even.'"
Carrol already has two horses and is looking for a stable for Mailman Express. The customer who gave her the horse wants to remain anonymous.