A CAROLING WE WILL GO
by Orv Alveshere
GIDDYUP JINGLE HORSE
Ask country folks, they have gone caroling since way back when.
I like to think back in years to when I was nine or ten.
We were always training horses and Dad had a young horse.
We gave that horse intense training, but hadn’t reached mid-course.
Dad was concerned; he felt he couldn’t trust that horse in town;
When everyone – all forty residents – would gather ‘round.
With people milling to and fro, he deemed it unwise to go
Into a mini-crowd with a horse that MAY stop at “Whoa.”
IN THE LANE SNOW WAS GLISTENING
There was a pleasant task of putting sleigh bells on harness hames.
It was consternation, should he avoid guessing games?
We pressed onward with the training, with pleasure, I might add.
We took turns in the ‘learning seat’, beside our expert Dad.
It was a waste looking out a window at that white stuff.
Never enough sledding, we had little sense between our earmuffs.
I still wish to hear bob-sled runners gliding across the snow. *
That wagon box was cozy, while hearing “Giddap and Whoa.”
GREEN-BROKE HORSE? WHOA IS ME
Pressing problems, we needed a team that obeyed a command.
Use neighbor’s horse? The solution and horse was close at hand.
The neighbor kids had nicknamed that tired old draft horse, “Slug.”
Their horse was long in the tooth, swayback and had an ugly mug.
Only a mile ride through pastures, cross-country, on that horse,
Antsy with caroling anticipation, what could be worse?
My ride was ready, Dad seemed slow. I was ready to go.
I’d ride a harnessed horse who’d understand “Giddap and Whoa.”
HO HO HO, WHO WOULDN’T GO?
In the crisp night air, I started ‘early’ with a Christmas song.
Bright snow under hooves, over the hills we plodded along.
Looking at the lights of town, when that old nag made a STOP!
Unprepared, I nearly had an accidental five foot drop.
I rode a horse, ‘formerly known as Prince’. Again he did STOP!
Once more I grabbed the hames to avoid a second kerplop.
Surprise, Old Prince, his real name, obeyed my command of “HO HO HO.” **
Because that well-trained draft horse knew well, “Giddap…and Whoa.”
YULE REMEMBER COMMUNITY HOLIDAY EVENTS
WHAT’S A CHRISTMAS WITHOUT CAROLING?
Our bob-sled trip to town seemed long, like we’d never get there.
That ‘mixed’ team pranced along with jingling bells in the night air.
We’d harmonize on “Silent Night”, hum while Dad sang in Norse.
Town folk climbed in the sled, powered by our and the neighbor’s horse.
Crowded, more in our bob-sled box than left to carol to.
All caught the Christmas spirit. We became a merry crew.
We share our fond caroling memories of long ago,
With bob-sled, jingle bells, behind trusted teams who stopped at “Whoa.”
*Bob-sled runners don’t run – they glide (oxymoron?)
** “Up On The Housetop”
© Copyright 1995, rewrite 11-2008, all rights reserved, by Orv Alveshere,