Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Shanghai as a Stallion

I imagined that Shanghai was a colt on the verge of becoming a stallion.

Yes, there was much talk in the past about leaving him as a gelding, a workhorse and nothing more. But this idea was soon dropped. We were all too well aware of Shanghai’s potential.

Many had tried to tame him, but nobody could do it. It’s not because he was too vicious, well, at least not at first. That was the thing that made Shanghai impossible to tame. To the rider who had never known him, he would appear to be tamed at first, calm and placid, civil in the utmost, or as civil as a stallion can be. He wore a saddle comfortably, and did not fight when his handlers threw it on his back. At the most, he would let out a casual snort; he would drag an idle hoof in the dirt, but that was all.

The most courageous of men would approach him, and hop into his saddle, wondering what the fuss was all about. They would set out at an even trot into the middle of the large pen where he was kept, grinning and stinking with an air of confidence. It was at this moment that Shanghai turned wild, as if possessed by a demon.

The powerful animal would heave his entire frame forward and backward, lurching, kicking, twisting, doing everything in its power to heave the rider from his back. Most of the time, this sudden change in behavior was so unexpected that the rider was instantly thrown from the horse, leaving his life in the hands of fate. Even if he did walk away from the pen, the rider’s confidence would be shaken, and chances were that he would refuse to ride Shanghai again.

They would mutter: “Shanghai you bastard, you beast, you hellspawn, you horse of the apocalypse. Curse the mare who gave you life. Curse these handlers who tend to you. May your hooves crack and rot. May you break your leg and fall lame with no one to put you out of your misery, except the bands of ravenous wolves already feasting on your flesh.”

Yet if you followed these men, years later when they found themselves in different pastures, at the mention of the great animal, they would only smile, look towards the sky and exhale: “Shanghai. Shanghai. Shanghai…”

posted by ferret at 5:50 pm  

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