Wednesday, December 4, 2019

What Is A Horse?

Part 4 of 30
The Mam & Pap
Royal Splendid Traveling Rodeo

What is a horse? Sounds like a silly question. Since we know it's a big-nosed creature, simple to summarize. But it's like when we ask, What is a girl? And the answer is, unpredictably, sugar and spice and everything nice. Or a boy? Snakes and snails and puppy-dog tails. I heard that all my life as a kid and didn’t get it at all. It still doesn’t make much sense, like a secret code grandmas use with aunts and sisters to size us up. They’d be laughing and nodding, everything short of a high five. As if to say "This one's definitely a snail." Now I’m an adult myself and, like horses, deathly afraid of snakes.

An answer about what a horse is, like the boy and girl, could be something about the horse’s demeanor or interests. So a horse could be saddles and reins and equestrian brains. Or paths and trails and giddy-up wails. They are mostly known for being ridden hard in cowboy movies, or more leisurely down pleasant trails at a ranch, and of course rodeos. I used to go to trail ranches and the horses were so used to running back to the barn for a treat that they were sluggish going out and frisky going in. I nearly lost my life to a couple treat-happy horses taking the quick shortcut under low branches. And me, a paying guest sitting on their back...

For the western movie or rodeo the horse is the mode of transportation for going everywhere. You see some of those westerns and you have to think that we never would've made it trying to get across country on horseback or pulled. When I used to see movies of people in the stagecoach it never once looked like a good thing. But movies were plot-driven, so someone was always getting robbed, killed, or captured. And I wouldn’t want to be at the mercy of a horse walking a mountain path, although they at least have an interest in preserving their own lives while a car will purposely wreck if you don’t steer them right.

But what is the horse? Here I put my hand on my heart and look longingly into the paradise of the sky with profound thought. "A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and that’s all it ever shall be, of course.You can steer one east or west, or veer it back with force. When it completes its run it’ll be the same old horse. Or go to the north where live the brave Norse, they’ll stand and hold forth on the glory of their horse. Sometimes named Hrimfaxi."

In summation, horses that are lucky take the fast track to the rodeo, stay there performing, and enjoy the happiness of pleasing crowds the rest of their extremely-fulfilled lives.

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