To Whom It May Concern,
I am a horse. I know horseplay. This, my friend, is not horseplay.
Ask yourself: Was someone frolicking in a beautiful, verdant field? Was a mane billowing in the breeze? Did you feel a stirring of joy in your heart for the first time in months, like a crocus bursting from the winter soil?
Was a long tail flapping freely in the breeze? Was it unbelievably majestic? Was Misty of Chincoteague there?
Was anyone playing polo? Was anyone PRANCING? Did anyone canter wild and free across the prairie? Did you witness Rafalca jumping around, caparisoned in ribbons, displaying athleticism? Were you filled with a commingling of wonder and delight?
Was it the controversial Broadway show “Equus”?
All of these would have been horseplay, or at least horse play. This other thing is not. This sounds violent and awful.
I come from a long, proud line of horses who have been outstanding in our field (a field) for many years. We are stallions of the Cimarron and Central Park horses, workhorses and show ponies. My ancestor served under Paul Revere, literally.
I beg of you, as Roy Moore’s horse said when he tried to ride to the polls: Don’t put this on me.
This is another situation where human beings want to do something violent and bad and they are trying to hide themselves under the cover of a horse. This is a real Greek Soldiers in a Wooden Replica situation, or like when Tolstoy killed off that poor horse in “Anna Karenina” just so he could have a metaphor for a failed relationship. This is just like all the horses who are stuck in those Confederate statues. This isn’t our doing. Stop sneaking up from behind and pointing this at us. It startles us.
How dare, I repeat, how DARE you sully my name with these smears? Black Beauty never did this. Boxer never did this. He never played. He never even thought. He just worked harder. Ginger did not waste her life between the shafts of a Victorian taxicab so you could blame us for this.
Horseplay! My god! When I think of what horses have done for you? Our friendship is magic; our gallop polls, reliable.
This is not horseplay. Force himself on someone? Put a hand over someone’s mouth? Do I look as though I have hands?
Get off your high me! No pal of mine, no!
We have carried water for you long enough. And other things. But it would sully the name of Shadowfax; or of the Horse With No Name (he had a name; it was Greg); or of the Old Gray Mare who ain’t what she used to be (rude) to have this behavior attributed to them. I am calling a halt. Whoa.
I know what horseplay looks like. This wasn’t it.
Read more from Alexandra Petri: