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If you bury him in this spot...


Balhannah, Australia

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Artist's Description

I found this poem on a blog for a young eventing rider, Laine Ashker, who was critically injured at the Rolex Three Day Event, Lexington, Kentucky. She has apparently recovered well. (_Update – she is competing again…_) Her horse, Frodo Baggins, which starred in Lord of the Rings, broke his neck and was euthanased.

This poem was posted as a tribute to Frodo, and it brought a tear to my eye as well, as I remembered my beautiful old boy Jack, who is in fact buried just a few yards from this very spot (Balhannah, Adelaide Hills).

If you bury him in this spot,
The secret of which you must already have,
He will come to you when you call –
Come to you over the far, dim pastures of death,
And down the remembered paths to your side again.
And though you ride other living horses throughout life
They shall not shy at him or resent him coming.
For he is yours and he belongs there.

People may scoff at you,
Who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall,
Who hear no nicker pitched too fine for insensitive ears.
People who may never really love a horse.
Smile at them then, for you shall know something that is hidden from them,
And which is well worth knowing.

The one place to bury a horse is in the heart of his mistress.

This poem has been adapted by someone from a famous piece by Ben Hur Lampman (1886-1954), US newspaper editor, essayist, short-story writer and poet. The original piece was written as a column for The Oregonian which Lampman edited, and was originally entitled “Where to Bury A Dog”. The original is worded quite differently in places, applying as it does to dogs not horses. You can find the original here

Jack was 28 when he died, a beautiful thoroughbred who raced till he was 9 but was apparently really very slow. Remarkably he survived this long racing career with good strong legs and a wonderful temperament. I fell in love with Jack the moment I saw him, and we spent 16 very happy years together. I still miss him …

1502 views at August 22 2012

Featured in A Place to Call Home, and Image Writing, February 2011

Artwork Comments

  • Arthur Chambers
  • Torfinn
  • Denzil
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