Because I live in a horsey community, horses and ponies get drafted into participating in the festivities. We even have an annual holiday parade in town, where the hoofed participants are decorated in battery-operated light packs and then prance down the main street in town, accompanied by the high school band and the local Girl Scout troop. Honestly, you never know what might come trotting down the street this time of year. That fact inspired me to compose this little poem, with a nod to Clement Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicolas”:
Not a human was stirring; no one was able.
The muck carts were tilted up by the walls
After hours of shoveling poop from the stalls.
My horses were cozy in waterproof rugs
And looking as docile as 20-year-old plugs.
My husband shed his slicker and I yanked off my cap
And we slogged indoors for food and a nap.
But out in the stable there arose quite a ruckus.
It was Geldings Gone Crazy! Equines Run Amokus!
We ran out the back door and looked over the gate
Our horses were snorting. What was their fate?
The moon, broken through the clouds overhead,
Put a luster of magic on the item of dread.
What was it that rolled on the street just below?
But a holiday pony cart, with carolers in tow!
Songs rose from the asphalt and up to our roof
Accompanied by clip-clops from each tiny hoof.
I turned to my husband and said rather sad,
“Though it’s lovely and festive, this could turn out bad.”
The cart was aglow with twinkling lights,
And the ponies wore bells. A beautiful sight!
The harness, it jingled. The cart lolled and swayed.
At the peak of the chorus one gray pony neighed.
My horses, however, weren’t thrilled with the view.
To them it was a monstrous horse-eating stew.
“Just settle down, Wally, and settle down, Dan.
It’s just pony cart carolers controlled by a man!”
My horses flicked ears, then paused in their fright.
Hearing my voice, they relaxed in the night.
Their ears heard the singing, their eyes saw the hues
(The twinkling lights of reds, greens and blues).
It seems like my horses soon understood
The beauty of Christmas. (Wish everyone would).
The carolers finished and the driver then kissed
And the ponies pranced forward, away in the mist.
Then we heard from a distance, from far out of sight,
“Happy Christmas horse lovers! And to all a good night!”
Have a peaceful holiday and give the horses in your life a hug from me.
Back to Life with Horses