Mavis’ Prayer

I got an itch on my back today
I whinnied my human to come my way
She tossed another bale of hay
Then turned and walked the other way.

Mavis’ Prayer

‘What the hell?’ I neighed and whickered, ‘come back here you city slickers.’

Just when I thought my luck had changed
A human walked to the corral, my cage
She stroked my nose up to my ears
I wasn’t sure if it was to allay my fears
But before I raised my head to say
Thank you in some horsey way
The bitch slapped on something like clay
Then slid on this mask
And laughed
And played
Then she ran to a buggie and yelled, ‘There’s 395 horsepower’s under this hood, so you best be good.’
I looked up and tossed my mane
I lifted a hoof to ease the strain
Of that rubber mask all day
As a last resort I sat on the grass
Wiggled a little to ease my arse
Then fell to my left in a plume of dust
Rolled onto my back as a horse must
And recalled what started this whole horrid day
I had an itch on my back that wouldn’t go away

‘If that masks on when I get back, I’ll give you a rub down and a snack.’

On my back
On the ground
That retched itch I finally found
I wiggled and rolled from post to post
I forgot about the mask for the most
Part of the day, when finally I saw
Coming my way
A human hand and it had a brush
Another with an apple, I believed I blushed

From dawn until dusk
I’d forgotton the mask

And gave her my trust
As I finished the apple
And she finished my brush
I remembered the mask
And her words, ‘I’m in a rush.’
‘I’ll be back tomorrow and see about that hat, no put down your hoof, don’t worry about that. It’s good for your complexion and will keep out the rain. Once I take it off, you’ll never be the same.’

‘What did she say?’ asked a fly on my ear.
‘She said it was good for me. I shouldn’t fear.’
‘I was here before you arrived, and I maybe a fly, but I sat on Ralph’s ear the day that mask first arrived…’
‘What are you saying? Should I hit the deck? Roll on my back, ease it down my neck?’
‘No, no, you silly horse, if you roll it down your neck you’ll get a sore throat. Just leave it where it is and wait til the morn. I’m sure you’ll be fine. What could go wrong?’

As the fly flew away
I lifted my head to look into Ralphs stable
I found myself thinking, ‘Is he able, to do… well anything at all? He’s deaf in one ear, and has only three legs, did she do that to him, did she forget… the mask! Or did he come that way?’

I am a slave to my hooves
The mask must remain
I was trusting the human
And did as she said.

I looked to the sky up at the Milky Way, and sent out a prayer to the constellation Equuleus, ‘Please watch over my human, so she can remove this mask. I’d do it myself, but for this task, I’m useless. Please make sure she doesn’t forget, and may my legs be all there, and my hearing a hundred percent. Thank you for listening my neighbourly friend, I look forward to your dressage still with four legs, Mavis.’

Andrea Gibson – “Boomerang Valentine”

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