Knee-High to a Dapple Gray Team

spotted gray horses pull a sleigh in the snow. Photo by Ley Bouchard, LeKreations LLC, Valley Equestrian News
Dapple gray team of horses pulling a sleigh at the Blackberry Fun Fest Feb. 25, 2017. Photo by Ley Bouchard, VEN file photo.

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.”
Almost no one was more cautious than
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 gray.

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 gray.

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 eighth 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 gray.

Orv Alveshere Copyright 1993