Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Horse in the Street.

Rosie, was dead. There was no bones about it, she was passed her best.  Well past, according to Algy`s Mum!
"She`s been dead since last night! Look at `er, stiff as a board!  Popped `er clogs she `as, nothin` we can do now! " With those harsh words, Algy broke into tears. The tears ran down his dirt stained face, leaving  clean streaks of skin.
 "Rosie! Rosie!............"  He was inconsolable.  It was late afternoon when the Knackerman arrived.  Algy saw him walking purposefully towards the stable,  which was really a shed, and was  Rosie`s last resting place.
" `ere? Whats ocurrin`  `ere then?  You should be at school! " The Knackerman was a short rotund man in his late fifties, balding and with the smell of stale Tobacco on him.
Algy didnt like him much.
"Its my `orse Mister, she`s dead."
"Well thats what I`m `ere for ya daft lad! Dont worry son, I`ll  `ave `er away soon as quick like!"

With that, the man tied a steel cable round Rosie`s front hooves, and attached it to   another cable that ran between two Shires horses. With one movement of his hand, both Shires pulled as one,  and Rosie started her journey out of Algy`s life.

Two days later, Algy was leaning on the half door of the stable. His mind was wandering through his short life with the horse he had come to love. Rosie had been a Coal Mans horse, hauling tons of coal around the streets, up and along the cobble stoned roads of the dirty grimy town he called home.

One day, while he was out playing on the streets with his mates, he saw the Coal man beat the horse, she looked tired, worn out and in pain. After some loud curses from the Coal man, Algy watched as the horse collapsed onto the cold stone cobble sets. It was a sound he would not forget.
The baleful stare from the coal man towards the horse was seen by the boy.
But Algy was at the horses side before the raised arm of the Coal man could land another blow on the beleaguered frame of the poor horse.
"Hey Mister!" Algy shouted, "Leave him alone! Your `urtin` `im!"  The man snarled, " Well if ya so good wi` `orses, `ave this `un! An` by the way, its a She!"   With that, the Coal man  unhitched the fallen horse, and with a parting gesture, kicked the poor beast in the rump.

The man pushed the empty coal cart away from the horse, as Algy ran to see what he could do.

Algy knelt beside the fallen beast, his hands caressed the greasy mane ans tired face. An eye opened,  and then closed. There was a long sigh from the horses  nostrils, and after that he couldnt hear anything more..

Algy lay with the suppine body of this tired old horse, and as he let his arm fall across the chest, he felt the chest rise, ever so slightly, but it was there!

Quick as a flash, Algy was up and across the road into his house, through the front room, up the stairs, and like a maniac he swept up all the blankets he could find!  In two shakes of a lambs tail, he was back on the street!
"   `Oright  boy, I`ll save ya, jus` you see  if `ar dont!"    Algy threw all of his Mums best blankets over the horse!
"Dont worry lad, these`ll keep ya warm!" The horse didnt react to the gesture.   It was some time before Algy`s Mum arrived home from her cleaning job. But when she saw her son prostrate, over what seemed to her, to be a body in the street, she went into shock!
" Oh my God!  Algy!!" She screamed the words at the top of her shrill voice.

Algy had his backside " tanned", his mother, couldnt believe that all her best blankets, including the ones used for "good" were keeping that moth eaten beast warm!    " Ow could ya? Them`s me best  blankets!"

As Algy watched the pile of rags across the street from his bedroom window,  he wiped a tear from his face.

The next morning, Algy was up before Bantam Fart!    (And thats early!)  He quickly dressed, and was out the front door of the house!  The horse was gone!   Only a sad pile of trampled blankets lay, where the horse had been.   He was devastated, moreover, he began to cry. The first tear had barely dripped onto the cobble stones, when Algy heard the sound of screams from up the top of his street. He turned, and to his delight, he saw Rosie!  She was standing among Mrs Williams garden, hanging from Rosie`s mouth was a large bunch of   Daffodils!  He ran for all he was worth. On reaching the scruffy horse, he wrapped his short arms around its neck, and smothered it with kisses.  Mrs Williams demanded the return of her Daffy`s!  Rosie didnt comply!  It was there, that Algy and Rosie became firm friends.  But that was several years past,   and Algy  knew, that Rosie had been cared for in those remaining years.

"Algy!    Algy! A` you at the bloody stable again?  Get over `ere lad its time for tea!" Algy`s dream time was sadly broken.  But not before,   "  Mam? "
"No !  Ya cant `ave another `orse!"  


  1. What a good story!!

    Also- I mentioned you and linked to your blog in my most recent post.

  2. Poor Rosie to have had such a rotten owner...but lucky to get a few good years. Good story I could picture it.

  3. Thanks Deanna! You did and I saw it!

    Hi Janice, thank you!

  4. You spin such vivid tales!

  5. Hi Shirley, thanks, I take a lot from my own childhood. I saw most of this kind of stuff, and it wasnt at all pleasant. But when I look back, times were bloody hard, ignorance about horse welfare abounded and the last of the old horse transport was dying out. Thank God!
    But it makes for a good tale?

  6. Sure could picture that happening, poor Rosie, glad she had Algy to care for her for a little while at least