Sunday, 23 September 2012

The horse's point of view . . .

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching one of those '1930s on Film' documentaries on TV, and saw the sinister footage of a Fascist propaganda parade with Mussolini on horseback. And it occurred to me that nobody had ever asked the horse about his role in all that . . .

Mussolini's Horse

Listen to me please!
None of this was my fault.
None of it!
I knew what he was
but I am innocent.
A horse cannot choose his rider.
I was beautiful and well-schooled,
my coat a shining chestnut,
the other horses envied me.
And I always did as I was told.
I knew how to behave
and how to please the humans.
I never kicked or shied or bit,
I was docile even with the hardest rider.
So I was chosen as his slave.
What else could I have done but carry him?
How could I complain?
Disobedience would have earned a whipping.
He supplied my food and straw,
a warm stable and a rug for cold nights.
However much I hated him
I could not fight back.
I had to stand there quietly and let him mount.
What could I have done?
You think I should have thrown him off?
Unseated him?
Left him on the ground with a dung-smeared face?
Easy for you to say!
For me, it would have meant the glue-works
or the dog-meat factory.
I'm not his accomplice.
I hated him, despised him just like you,
but what could I have done
other than stand still patiently
and let the fat man straddle me?

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