Saturday, November 22, 2008

Horse sense

This will be a short post today. We’re marking the 45th anniversary of the JFK assassination with a visit from the farrier, who’s coming this morning to trim the horses’ hooves.

If you want to get a real sense of the awesome power of nature, stand next to a two-thousand pound animal while she rears up on her hind legs, as I did once when Daisy had a bad reaction to an earlier farrier. I had hold of the rope on her halter, but all I could do was stand there and look up at her. I’ll never forget that moment, which happened not long after we first got the horses, because I was so filled with awe at the sight of her that I felt not the slightest hint of fear, even though one of her flailing front hooves could have easily caved my skull in. I was a little giddy afterwards.

I was fourteen when JFK was killed, and it’s another moment that, like everyone else in my generation, I’ll never forget. I can’t forget the priest who interrupted our math class to lead us in prayer at the news he’d been shot, or how all the people on the DC city bus I took when we got off early were talking about it, or my mother turning to me from the television, tears in her eyes, when I walked in, and her voice quaking with grief, saying simply, “They killed him.”

Last year I read David Talbot’s “Brothers,” his book about the relationship between Jack and Bobby Kennedy. It’s a book that got remarkably little attention in the media, but jaded as I am now, I’m not surprised. Much of the book dealt with Bobby’s efforts to find out who really killed his brother. Both he and the widowed Jackie suspected it was the CIA.

I suspect they’re right.

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