Knee-High to a Dapple Gray Team


Knee-High to a Dapple Gray Team

Some hens laid their eggs in the horse manger;
But to gather the eggs, would pose a danger.
I was knee-high to a team of dapple grays;
A strong team to pull hayracks and bob sleighs.
At 1800 pounds, the burden beast,
A team so imposing, to say the least.
And while the fresh egg lay on the hay,
I had to walk past a giant dapple gray.

At first Dad would say, “Whoa, Jim,” and “Whoa, Dan,”
And I would echo like a little man.
“Whoa, Jim,” I’d softly say, and “Whoa, Dan.”
The little guy they could barely see,
Was only as tall as the horse’s knee.
Then I would negotiate my way
In between a large team of dapple grays.

I had not seen an elephant by then,
So this was the largest creature, when
I asked softly to enter their horse stall.
Both were huge, but the gentlest team of all,
A silver gray with dark spots all over,
As they stood there munching hay and clover.
I fetched the egg, still warm and laying on the hay.
And retraced my steps past the dapple grays.

A tractor purchase would replace the team;
It was part of the farming progress scheme.
We didn’t need a second team at all;
It was a disappointing empty stall.
Replaced by two boards to make a calf pen,
It would hold about eight young stock or ten.
I missed the horses with the chicken-pox spots,
And their gigantic hooves that looked like yachts.
We still had a manger and eggs and hay,
We missed that handsome team of dapple grays.

© Orv Alveshere, 1993