Confessions of A Horse Husband

Well there it is. That thing from Amazon and which you don’t remember ordering. And you haven’t been drinking. Why can’t you recall what’a in the box? It’s big.

You think maybe algorithms are involved. A sequence of ones and zeros hatched a plot. Autonomic systems have sent you a replica Czarist sleigh or a set of punch bowls made from the stretched skins of sharks.

Then you remember. You’re a “horse husband.”

It’s your wife’s box, which means it’s her horse’s box. She’s purchased a lead horse blanket; thirty pounds of nutritious rare algae harvested from beneath the permafrost of Greenland–just add water and voila, you have a Viking horse! (Did the Vikings have horses? Probably not. They weren’t patient. Everyone knows horses require calmness and sufferance and lots of shipments from Amazon.)

There are other objects: metal tools that resemble 19th century dental implements–hoof picks, spurs, fancy mouth bits, and something that looks like a mouse trap.

And of course there are a hundred herbal preparations designed to offset the ordinary tendency of the horse to be a large rascal. Mark Twain once wrote:

“I know the horse too well. I have known the horse in war and in peace, and there is no place where a horse is comfortable. A horse thinks of too many things to do which you do not expect. He is apt to bite you in the leg when you think he is half asleep. The horse has too many caprices, and he is too much given to initiative. He invents too many new ideas. No, I don’t want anything to do with a horse.”

The horse needs anti-caprice tablets, poultices, unguents, viscous substances known to Paracelsus, flower satchets, hoof hardeners, hoof softeners, hoof polish, breath mints, and equine anodynes for the bites of other horses.

As you drag the box into the house it clanks and rattles. It sounds like a Lackawanna freight car.

Yes you’re a horse husband.

Unlike Mark Twain you love the horse. And the woman behind him.