Friday, December 9, 2011

The Trusty Horse (after Hawthorne) by Ian Riley

As I neared the end of the pass, the bridge which I knew to look for came into sight, soaring majestically into the sky with the cables drawn taut, so unlike the skin of the ancient face with which I looked on. It had been designed in my youth, when the birds flew high in the sky and the sun shone gloriously as they swept past on their migratory course, unaware that man had now conquered the expanse of the skies above the canyon as well. My horse beneath me gave a cry as we drew closer, for the road was blocked ahead by several fallen boulders, which stood guard as the pass drew toward its end, closing all that was open, closing indeed as well upon my only way of departure, for the way back had been made impassable by a cacophonous rockslide which occurred as I rode by and my horse let out an even more obstreperous burst of flatulence. This was likely the result of a meal of beans eaten each day for the previous fortnight, and yet I saw how this could be an advantageous situation as we approached the newly fallen barricade. I turned my horse about, with his posterior facing the boulders, and prepared to wait as long as necessary for another bout of vapors to come over my animal. It was not a long interval before I noticed that my horse’s countenance had assumed an appearance of great distress. The sound echoed for miles around, and the way to the bridge was clear of boulders, though now blocked by a cloud of noxious fumes. I held my breath and ventured on, happy to be on my way.

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