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Poems and Thoughts    by Frank Maurer

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Telah's Sad Undoing. Part 2.

Ah, Telah (Taylah) my beautiful red Basotho (Basootoo) Pony.
How I loved your magnificence and strength.
We trotted, tripled, and cantored across the face of Lesotho;
This startling red pony caught the eye of all we passed.

In Lesotho (Lesootoo), the tenth (?) poorest country in the world,
Anyone with means, as we expatriate teachers had,
Hired a man or woman to work around or in the house.
I, being a biologist, had several animals in the yard,
Including a rescued maccac from an experimental lab.
I also had a garden which required maintenance as well.
Then of course, there were two horses--
Lots to keep a hired person busy and earning a relatively nice wage.
During the day the house animals and the garden
Needed feeding, watering, and special care.
The two horses were tethered out to graze each morning,
Moved for better grazing at noon and led back to the barn each evening.

One evening our 'hired hand' came rushing back to the house.
He had been leading Telah and his companion, a lovely mare, back to the stable,
When, suddenly, it was explained, Telah bolted and broke free.
Down the road he raced and was maneuvering a small bend to the left.
His forward momentum overcame the need to gallop left--
Over the right edge of the raised road and straight into an electric pole.
His right shoulder caught the pole and he instantly dropped.

I called the Maseru vet, who arrived quite quickly.
(Quickly for Lesotho that is--there was always 'African Time'.)
The diagnosis: no chance of repair--
Must be put down--such a decision.
I told the vet to proceed as soon as I had left--
I could not bear to witness such a thing.

Before I left, my hired man approached:
"If it were alright, may we butcher and take the meat?"
These people were the poorest of the poor.
I pondered, wondering what to do.
A neighbor South African family of a mother and three daughters
Heard what was transpiring and came to me.
"This horse should be buried properly and not butchered!"
Oh, goodness. Horse lovers versus semi-starving people.
Whatever I did, I would have to live with it !
I was a guest in a country of desperately poor people.
I decided to allow the dividing up of the body--
My beautiful Telah; energy passed from horse to human.

I never lived it down with the family.
Once again, Human philosophy colliding,
By acting with an attempt, trying to result in a 'Rightful' outcome.

Frank Maurer 30 March 2023 2200 Hours.

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