Many people claim that they have heard sometimes or the other something “from the horse’s mouth”. I have never had that experience till yesterday. That is when I joined the selected band of people.
A horse spoke to me ! I could not believe my ears when it opened its mouth and started in a language which I could perfectly understand.
It asked me whether I was the one who writes for the papers occasionally. On my admission, it asked me if I could help him ventilate his grievances. I thought it had something to say about prevention of cruelty to animals. With the increase in the number of automobiles and the development of other modes of transport the grievances of horses had certainly come down. However, it did not touch that point. If anything, their complaint would be about increasing joblessness.
“Have you heard the latest news about U.P.,” it asked me.
I replied that I heard them everyday and the latest was of course about the vote of confidence won by the new chief minister. It said that in that connection some mischievous and defamatory references had been made by various leaders to its fraternity. I said that it was part of parliamentary democracy to made derogatory references to each other. And that is what educates us about various parties and their members. It said that it did not mind so long as they traded ‘educative and informative’ allegations against each other but what hurt it was that an apprehension was expressed by some leaders that there might be ‘horse trading’ before the vote of confidence. I said that happens quite often inspite of our anti-defection law.
“That is what I want to protest about”. It added, “horses are sold and bought by their owners. We can’t help that. But no horse has ever left its master on its own and gone to somebody else”.
I thought about this for a while and conceded that it was indeed so. I recalled stories in which horses had shown extraordinary faithfulness to their masters. It asked me then what horses they were referring to which were being traded.
“Never mind”, I said, “it is a figure of speech”.
“Don’t be silly,“ it said, “speech has no figure”.
I had never thought of that. “Coming to the point”, it neighed, “I have come here to lodge a protest”.
“What about ?”
“Comparing those guys with us is an insult to our brotherhood”.
You should complain to the “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals”.
“They register only cases of physical cruelty. Not mental cruelty.”
Problem. “ What do we do then ?”
“Use some other simile or metaphor. But don’t defame us. We are horses. We are used to the company of nobles, warriors and sportsmen. We are fast runners. We are valued highly. Even today we serve only the head of the State – for his ceremonial rides.”
“But they make such references in anger. When they sort of wash their dirty linen in public”.
“Exactly. Then they should compare themselves to our cousins who are used to carrying the dirty linen for washing”.
“But won’t they object ?”
“I don’t think so. They are so stupid.”
“O.K.” I said “I shall convey your protest to appropriate quarters”.
“Thank you,” beamed the graceful, grateful creature, “You promise ?”
“I do”, I replied. That is the least I could do for having experienced a miracle – getting it direct from the horse’s mouth. For the first time!