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Dreamed 1995/4/30 by Chris Wayan

horse looking up thoughtfully, in wind

It's around 1840. Through newspaper clippings and Senate debates, I'm following an intricate political controversy. And it started so simply--a horse race between two state champions (the first Kentucky Derby?)... But the two champions are strange horses, part Appaloosa or another Native breed that has extraordinary abilities--one can speak, the other is telepathic! They're as different from each other they are from ordinary horses, but they fall in love, despite their differences. Complicates their competition, for though they love to race, neither really wants to defeat the other.

Now the more radical Abolitionists say "Talking horses can't be properly considered chattel. And if they're people, shouldn't they VOTE?"

Pragmatists write worried letters to the editor. "Won't the political balance shift if talking horses are registered?"

Liberals propose "They could be counted as three-fifths of a man."

Human supremacists insist "They must be part human! Horses couldn't evolve minds like that on their own."

Racial purists call it "Miscegenation! Those damn Indians will fuck anything."

The cattle and sheep breeders jump in: "It's ridiculous to think they're human-horse crossbreeds. They'd look like centaurs. They're all horse--just looks like horses had more potential than we realized."

A Senator from a western frontier like Arkansas or even far-off Kansas, a man famed for his earthy frankness, says on the Senate floor, "Miscegenation? Hell, it happens every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. Every ranch kid knows that. Had a few calves suck me off when I was young m'self." A bit too earthy and frank for the national press. A flurry of satirical articles, culminating in a popular broadside ballad on 'Senatorial Dignity--as tall as the Oklahoma Mountains.'

"But don't forget the Ozarks" I think privately. "The senator may be crude, but he's only telling what every farm kid knows." My horsy face

In my favorite saloon, I meet a reporter who's bummed all over the West from Michigan to Louisiana. He tells me casually "Just from your face, it's obvious you're a half-breed. Maybe some French trapper, some Indian for sure. And some horse.You have the look of those two horses."

I'm amazed, look in the mirror. Try to see objectively, as if it's a stranger in there. When I do, see his opinion's quite plausible--probably right. There was plenty of opportunity for mixing--my mother's people have been here centuries. And there's the proof, in the mirror.

Old horse-face.


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