Saturday, January 11, 2014

When The Wheels Fall Off

Sell the horse, she says. Sell the horse! You want to keep fit, sell the horse. So I sell the horse. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Horses are expensive, she says, rubbing her fingers together. Horses eat, need the vet, need shoes. I need shoes, she says, lifting one foot onto the table. Horses are old-fashioned, she says, and goes back to her magazine. So I sell the horse.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

And then she said burn the cart. Burn the cart! After all, she reasoned — without a horse, how can you pull a cart? You want to keep warm, burn the cart. There is plenty of firewood in a cart. It was the middle of winter, and snow lay thick on the ground. It seemed like a good idea. So I burn the cart.

Of course, in the winter you can use the sled. The sled is designed to go easy on snow.

In the summer, not so much.

Still, I’m fit. It’s one foot in front of the other all day long pulling this sled across the pasture while the cows look on. I know what they’re thinking: they’re thinking here I am wearing a fine brass bell doing nothing but sunning myself all day and there he goes, wearing a funny hat, dragging cheese back to his fat wife.

The Cooking of Germany, Time-Life Books, 1969

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