Kickass talks to horses

Kickass, the doorstop dog, passes along the keeper’s report of a last-day trout fishing excursion with Harry Peterson that included such extensive immersion in the rural Driftless landscape that communicating with the animals, both wild and domestic, came as naturally as it ever can for a species that likes to think it is superior to the creatures.

There was the distant bawling of cows recently separated from their calves, according to word from a neighbor.  It went on non-stop and was a forlorn universal message of the deepest pain of motherhood interrupted and denied.

There was the delicate chirping of tiny birds as they visited Harry’s bird feeders.

There was the raucous gossiping of crows as they went about their routine policing of the landscape.

Then there were the two work horses who walked up to the keeper on a trail next to the creek and stood close in a posture that seemed to indicate—at least to the keeper, that they wanted him to tell them something.  So, he did: he told them they were lucky to be complete horses and not just horses’ asses, as was the keeper’s opinion of the anti-vaccine demonstrators he and Harry encountered at a farm-market entry.

The horses seemed to want to hear more, so the keeper told them to keep pulling the plows and the harvest wagons, and to mind their own business, which is something the keeper and his ilk are obviously incapable of.

The horses meandered off to munch grass next to the creek, just where the keeper had planned to fish, and he could tell from their demeanor that they were not being horses asses, but just horses, and that they were thinking about the things he had told them.


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