I never seem to have the right words when a friend or loved one experiences a loss. So I just stole some from The Band Perry. It's a sad story I'm going to tell but appearances can deceive so please read on. Who knows, this story may be uplifting to some. If you are buoyed by my words, by all means, sent them to CNN. I'd like have a story featured.
For thousand of years men went into battle on horseback. From the Mongol hoards to the valiant US cavalry in WW1 men rode these noble, powerful and even beautiful creatures into battle. They were trained to be warriors that needed no guidance. A gentle squeeze of the rider's knee was all that was needed to steer the animal in such a way as to be the difference in planting the lance in an enemy or having the enemy plant the lance in you.
Speaking of planting. I am preparing this years garden and today a faithful servant died. I haven't the words but I won't let that stop me. My faithful burro gave up his life today while he was hauling mulch to the new raised pea beds. I make an assumption here though I think it not a large one. He may have been a donkey but the brand that was stamped on his flank said Made in Mexico. So I have always assumed that he was a burro. I always pronounced it burrrrro in my mind with a heavy trill on the rrrr's.
For years he would gee when I said gee and haw when hawed. See , he was just like a war horse to me. I grew to love his little sounds: "squeaka haw, squeaka haw". It was music to my ears. I think he loved working the earth as much as I. Lately his little sounds began to change. With subtlety at first but building to more emphasis on the "haw" . It was like "squeaka HAW, squeaka HAW squeaka HAW. He seemed to be laboring more and I notice his smooth strong breathing under a heavy load was laced with panting and gasping. Of course that may have been me but it's not as good a story.
Today as we were hauling mulch to lay in the walk ways between the new raised beds, he wobbled for the first hour or so. This combined with his new cadence "squeaka HAW squeaka HAW" caused me to take note. I emptied the load, and coaxed him over on his back. Just as I helped him ease to the ground for a look, the wheel on the barrow came off. The axil had worn clean through.
You may believe this story to be a rip off but an old wheel barrow really does make the little squeaka squeaka noise and just before the axil breaks it goes more like squeaka haw, squeaka haw. My little burro really was made in Mexico. His shoulders were a yard wide. He was very strong. I called him Eldon. I found one at tractor supply today that is branded "Made in Ireland". I will have to change my accent to gee and haw my new pal.......John O'Hare.