Sunday, September 14, 2008

Canadians for Sale

Yesterday, my pet man and I drove off to check out an auction in a nearby village. A farmer, who had spent his working life raising Canadian horses was retiring. His farm, the equipment and horses were to be auctioned off. This traditional breed of horse was created to serve the farmers well. They are, without exception, pure black. Their character is docile, their needs are modest and they are hardy multi-taskers, pulling a sleigh or wagon or trunks of wood out of the forest. They also cut an attractive figure under a saddle or pulling the Sunday carriage. However, they are not talented for sports. As one equestrian said: "Canadian horse? No, I will never ride a cow!"

As we neared the farm, we saw that both sides of the road were packed with cars, trucks and trailers. There was a stand selling poutine, hot dogs, hamburgers and fries and the whole farm had been polished and painted for this public event. First the tractors, wagons and sleighs were sold off, then the horses, the harnesses and stable equipment and finally all the old machinery that the farmer had collected over the decades.

I recorded the stages, as each horse was taken away from its familiar stable, led to the showring and sold to the highest bidder. I heard the locals mutter that bidders were getting give-away prices this day. After the sale, each one was led away to the trailer of the new owner to begin a different life, away from its friends and family. In honor of these Canadians I wrote a Haiku:

Saturday: we hail
ebony palfrey for sale
with sleigh, reins and pail

P.S. The 1950s washing machine has a name that ends this story in a quirky way. Since my last post, I have been noticing the quirks of all my pets! and friends! and neighbors! I love their quirks.


kate said...

How sad....hopefully they will spend their golden years in humane and caring homes.

marlana said...

Yes, I hope and trust. I so love all horses. My time as horse owner were certainly MY golden years. Thanks for your comment.