Tag Archives: horses

2190. The corrugated iron shed

You see the roof of that shed? It’s silver. I can just see it from my dining room window. My late husband planted those fast-growing trees quite a few years back to block the unsightly view of the corrugated iron shed. The elderly couple used to keep hay in the shed for their horses. They had two horses.

“It’s none of our business watching the neighbours feed their horses,” he used to say. “And the shed is unsightly. It ruins the view.”

With that, my husband planted the trees. They’re on our side of the fence. If the truth be told, it worked both ways. It stopped the elderly couple from looking up and into our dining room. Not that we were doing anything untoward. But it’s a question of privacy.

Well! The elderly couple died – as does happen – and the property was sold. It was bought by a couple of men who are – as Maggie from up the road says – “an interesting couple of blokes”. I’m not sure what goes on in that shed, but they ain’t got no horses.

Every day I curse my late husband for his lack of foresight when he planted those trees. Every day, around 11 o’clock, those two park their pickup just shy of the corrugated iron shed. They get out and go presumably into the shed. They’re there from several minutes to about an hour.

Maggie from up the road says they’ll be growing marijuana under artificial light, but I pointed out that it has a concrete floor and there didn’t seem to be any cables going into the shed for electricity. At least that was the case when I went down to the shed when those “interesting couple of blokes” were away for the day. Of course, the shed was locked, so I’m none the wiser.

Tomorrow’s a public holiday. They seem to go away on most public holidays. Goodness knows where to, although I have my suspicions. Maggie from up the road and I intend to go to the shed and find out what’s going on, once and for all. We’ll let you know.

1620. Love of horses

Ross Randerson was into horses, so it was just as well he had a big farm. People said they reckoned he had a horse of every colour and shape. There was a horse there for every need, except the need for a horse these days wasn’t so common.

I guess when you’re as rich as Ross Randerson you can afford to have so many equine animals. The local equestrian society members were most unhappy with him. With so many horses how could he properly take care of them? Some of the mares seemed to have foals willy-nilly. It was irresponsible for Ross Randerson not to manage things better.

Only the other day the vet had been called because apparently a horse had slipped down a bank and broken a leg. Word has it that it had to be put down. With proper care such things need not happen.

These horses were not race horses, or pack horses, or draught horses, or whatever. They were ordinary, run-of-the-mill horses like those that horse lovers have in their back field as a hobby. Except Ross Randerson had a whole lot more. Quite often you would see a car stopped on the side of the road while photographs were taken of the horses galloping around the meadows. Such grace! Such regal grandeur! The white ponies with flowing blonde manes were everyone’s favourite!

Some people wondered how Ross Randerson could afford so many horses. How come he was so rich? Some knew and some didn’t. There’s a lot of money in dog food.

1577. Clydesdale stallions

Today’s “story” concerns a topic you’ve probably been wondering about for many years. Having the answer to the question will undoubtedly leave your mind free to begin to ponder other thoughts of importance. I know there are some people on the planet who might regard this topic with incredulity; not so I, and hopefully not so you. The cynic might say it’s about an area of farming in an era that no longer exists, so it’s not necessary to “talk dirty”. But all history buffs should care enough to be spellbound.

Here is the question.

In the old days, when farmers ploughed their fields with the aid of a draught horse, without the availability of modern trucks and horse floats, how did a Clydesdale mare get into foal? Obviously the farmer, whose livelihood depended on the Clydesdale, didn’t want puny offspring unable to pull a plough – or unable to wear a harness. And clearly temperament was a factor. Who wants a draught horse as stubborn as a donkey or as nasty as a racehorse? Only the best Clydesdale stallions would do.

Well, here lies the answer. The owner of a Clydesdale stallion would move from village to village and advertise his wares in newspapers. The stallion would reside in a field near a village for perhaps several weeks, and then move on. Some stallions stayed only for a day. Others popped in to see friends while travelling through.

Some were more expensive than others. Some charged a grazing fee; grass doesn’t grow on trees. Some boasted a proud pedigree. Some simply cavorted around the meadow showing off their sleek muscles and fluffy ankles.

It was like a Journeyman Plumber or Journeyman Blacksmith who laboured not in a workshop but moved around freely from client to client. Except in this case it was a Journeyman Horse. Only very occasionally would a mare do the travelling.

I knew you’d be interested. I was. Perhaps, if you believe in reincarnation, you might consider the possibility of coming back as the lucky owner of a proud Clydesdale stallion. It’s a wonderful calling and an excellent way to see the country.

1538: Lancelot Grope’s calling

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Nitin at Fighting the Dying Light. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

When he looked at the clown in his greens and reds, his raging coulrophilia kicked in. Lancelot Grope couldn’t help it. He was only too pleased that he himself was wearing baggy clown’s trousers.

Lancelot’s coulrophilia had made his teenage years almost unbearable. The trouble had been that his mother had been obsessed with a relatively muscular trapeze artist named Standish Nikolayevich, and Lancelot was dragged from one circus performance to another. It was okay for his sister to admit that she was obsessed with circus horses (and for his mother to be obsessed with Standish Nikolayevich) but to admit to coulrophilia was another thing altogether. Things came to a head when Cocoa Craven Hook, one of Lancelot’s favourite clowns, took Lancelot out the back.

Cocoa Craven Hook was wearing his greens and reds and looked amazing.

“Judging from looking at your trousers,” said Cocoa, “you seem to be pretty enthusiastic about clowning. Can I show you a thing or two? Let me pull a surprise out of my pocket.”

Suddenly a bunch of flowers appeared from nowhere. One of the flowers squirted water in Lancelot’s face. Lancelot laughed.

“I’ll show you how it’s done,” said Cocoa kindly. “First let me put these flowers in your pocket.”

Lancelot was hooked. He’d never experienced anything quite so exciting. There was no going back. He would be a coulrophiliac for life. Coulrophilia would be his life’s calling. He would use it to cure those who suffered from coulrophobia. And indeed he did.

Today, especially in Hollywood, there’s many a former coulrophobiac who is now a practising coulrophiliac. They’re in the News, and some of them even made it to the circus.

1445. Graceful horses

Two horses were frolicking in the meadow. They were being watched by a vehicle parked near the side of the road. How graceful the horses were as they cavorted around!

“You’d think, considering their size,” said Rupert, “that they wouldn’t be able to stop in time before hitting the fence.”

“I wonder if they are exercising or playing a game,” said Anselm.

“It’s amazing!” said Rupert. “Such grace of movement! And how green the grass in the meadow! It’s idyllic!”

“It’s so lovely, so beautiful. I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life.”

“I wish we had horses like that at home,” said Rupert.

Anselm took a photograph, and then their spacecraft lifted off to begin the long journey back to their home planet. Such memories!

1008. A dollar each way


I like to put a dollar or two on the horses. Not much, mind. Just a dollar each way, here and there. Once I won almost nine hundred dollars. Nine hundred dollars! Can you imagine that!

My wife – well my ex-wife actually, but that’s another story – she didn’t like me putting the occasional dollar on the horses. She used to think that there were better things to spend money on. Dresses and stuff I suppose. Yeah right. And lipstick and junk.

When they took the kids away she upped and left. She’d had enough she said. The judge gave her custody of the kids eventually. But I don’t see anything wrong with it. Just a dollar here and there, each way. Occasionally.