Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Horse Goes By

We live in a semi-rural, semi-suburban area not known for horse and buggy traffic. It is not Amish country by any means, unless there has been a recent influx that I am unaware of. But when I heard the "click-clack, click clack" in the distance I knew right away that unmistakable sound of horse shoes on pavement.


video

I remember that sound from when I was young and used to spend time at my grandma's house in the city. There was a produce vendor who drove a horse drawn wagon down her street every day. The "click-clack, click clack" of the horse's shoes striking the pavement was accompanied by the call of the merchant singing " 'tatoes. tomatoes," and some unintelligible names of vegetables as he announced his arrival. I don't remember grandma, or anyone else for that matter, ever buying any vegetables from him, but his presence was somehow comforting, despite or because of its being an anachronism.






























The other memory I have of a horse going by had to do with a grotesque rhyme that I had misunderstood as a child. I had no idea what a hearse was, so heard "horse" instead. I remember the rhyme like this:

"Did You Ever See A Horse (sic) Go By?
And Think That Someday You Would Die?
They Cover You In A Long White Sheet
And Then They Bury You Six Feet Deep
The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out
The Ants Play Pinochle On Your Snout
Your Chest Caves In, Your Teeth Decay
Your Eyeballs Pop And Roll Away..."
















This wouldn't be of much significance except for the fact that there was SO MUCH I GOT WRONG...and my misinterpretations were partly responsible for my too serious temperament and my unnerving efforts to fit my square peg-ness into the world's round holes. It seems that, should I ever collect my writings about these experiences into a unified work, a good tentative title would be: "Did You Ever See A Horse Go By?...or How Did I Ever Get It So Wrong?"

2 comments:

Mike D said...

A very nice Italian gentleman down the street from us has horses and a buggy. Some nice Sundays they can be seen trotting around the hood.

Mike D said...

A very nice Italian gentleman down the street from us has horses and a buggy. Some nice Sundays they can be seen trotting around the hood.

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