LETTER: Parking and barking, the trials of the Kingdom

By Contributor
April 26th, 2012

Dear editor,

Wilf was having trouble with his horses.  He’d spent a long day with his team packing loads up to the mines; all he wanted now was a cold beer in the local saloon.  But first he had to park his horses.  In the past, no problem, just tie them up side by side to the hitching rail on the sidewalk, give ‘em a bit of hay, and they’re happy. 

But now there’s this new law that says horses have to be parked parallel to the sidewalk. Whoever dreamt that one up doesn’t know a damn thing about horses.  Just try to get a horse to stand parallel to the sidewalk.  Push and shove, back and forth to get him into position, then throw the halter over the rail and the first thing he does is swing his ass out into the street. Now there’s eight horse’s asses sticking out there, but with wide spaces between them. Total waste of space.

So Wilf has another go. He lines them up end to end, tying them head to tail like a train. Trouble is then they think they’re heading out on the trail again, so off they go up the street with Wilf hanging on the end trying to get them turned around, giving them the kind of language that’s enough to make even the upstairs ladies blush. 

Fortunately Wilf has one of those sheep dogs that can handle horses just as well, so he eventually gets the horses lined up alongside the sidewalk again, with the front horse tied to a post, and with ol’ Shep dashing back and forth keeping the string lined up where they’re supposed to be. 

Finally, that beer. But before Wilf can lick the froth off, who should come into the saloon but Big John Kirkup, the town constable, swinging his stick like he means business.  “Them your horses out there?” he says.  “Yup,” said Wilf, “What’s the problem?”  “No problem with the horses,” says John, “But up here in the Mountain Kingdom it’s against the law to have a dog on the main street.”  

“Gold darn it,” exclaimed Wilf, or words to that effect, “What have they got against dogs?  There were a couple of bears wandering down the street yesterday.”  “ Bears are okay, just dogs not allowed,” said John, “Them and horses parked the wrong way. But don’t get your knickers in a twist; I’m sure in a century or so they’ll have more important things to worry about.”

Graham Kenyon


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