Dec 23, 2014

Letter to the Horse You Rode In On

Written by Matthew Olzmann

Read by Claudia Cortese

From this day forth, let it be understood: as one
of God’s most graceful innovations, you—
dear horse—are entitled to certain provisions
under the law. Granted, this law is one
I just made up, but those who acknowledge
its validity will adhere to the following rule:
One does not, under any circumstance, say “fuck you”
to a horse. It matters not who rode in on
the aforementioned steed. It matters not
what kind of jackassery said rider has committed.
We shall not allow even the tangential “fuck you”
to be cast upon this virtuous and sophisticated being,
such as the fuck-you-by-association commonly
phrased as: Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.
No, dear horse, you are proof that one does not
have the luxury of choosing the burden one carries.
Fate makes an animal of us all, and rides us
through the village at sunrise where we are judged.
But we designed those villages. We built them
from our worst ideas and kept expanding until
each enclave was equipped with genetically modified
pigeons and flammable tap water. The human hand
can reach from one ruined thing to the next. It can
level cities and wave goodbye and run its fingers
through your mane, and when I find you, I will
whisper: You would’ve done a better job with this place.
Unfortunately, horses don’t have any say in governance.
Except once. It’s said that the emperor Caligula
nominated his horse, Incitatus, as a Roman Consul.
We should also note: Caligula’s reign was brief.
37-41 AD. Then he was slain.