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Friday 11 March 2011

A Little Known Incident from WWII

Only the stretcher bearers had been spared;
the rest were left beheaded: officers
and other ranks, along with all their horses.
The severed heads, with caps and helmets still
in place, were strewn about like poppy seed -
though not one horse's head was ever found.

Full military honours. All the works.
Funerals to die for - for the horses.
The soldiers though, could still be put to use -
Praise be to God for lead and hollow men!
Dad's wax and dead match therapy, would see
them whole again - and back on the front line.

But for the moment: carnage in a box!
I saw the deed in terms of what I knew:
the havoc wreaked by Foxy on our hens:
in my mind's eye I saw the flying limbs,
and massive flows of blood from open necks.
Rommel, I knew, was called The Desert Fox,
but could you have a Rommel under 5?

An uncle came by at the crucial time.
"I see you've resurrected them," he said.
I didn't know what "resurrected" meant.
"I can't bring back the horses," I replied.
"Indeed," he laughed, "not creatures without souls!"
"What's souls?" I asked. "It's heads that they have lost!"
It was my launch pad to theology.


Anonymous said...

What a very moving piece David.

Isabel Doyle said...

There is so much of childhood, life, animals, philosophy in these few lines ... perhaps a novel trapped like Michelangelo's prisoners eh?

anthonynorth said...

The thoughts and philosophies coming out of this are many. Excellently done.

Tabor said...

I guess there are opportunities for learning everywhere.

Jim Murdoch said...

Didn't see that coming. Excellent. Witty and touching.

CiCi said...

Great way to put it. I wonder if any of the rest of us remember our own launch pad to theology. Very good, Dave. Gets me thinking.

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

fabulous, keep it up.

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

The Versatile Blogger Award 4 You! Thanks!

Happy Friday.

Kass said...

Excellent. Great read. Visual images abounding everywhere, ending with a soul jolt.

Surbhi Bafna said...

superb sir!!

David Cranmer said...

A very strong moving piece, David.

Fave line: "Funerals to die for - for the horses."

Windsmoke. said...

That was fantastic it had me hooked right from the very first line all the way to the last :-).

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Strongly emotional. Good job.

Sailor said...

Very interesting story of WWII

Helen said...

Oh Dave, what a beautifully written piece ... five year olds and innocence go hand in hand.

Rallentanda said...

Good work. Isn't it good that Pope John Paul declared animals to have souls? At least the Catholic horses have a chance of heaven now:)

Elephant's Child said...

I loved it. Moving and beautiful. Thankyou.

Anonymous said...

very well done, your words are super fine tuned.