3501 Bristol Highway Kingsport, Tenn.
A. Preston Gray of Kingsport, Tenn., believing that a tribute to the horse has a place in a grain thresher magazine such as The Iron-Men Album sends the following, together with a picture of himself mounted on his beautiful Five-gaited Kentucky Saddle Stallion, Lincoln's Choice, No. 9010.
Faithful horse, man's best animal friend; intelligent, companionable, supremely beautiful, noblest of animals. Characterized by strength, fleetness and courage, he was first employed by warriors and kings. Again and again man has cried:
'A horse ! A horse ! My kingdom for a horse !'
Behold the carnage of war, and there, amid the broken wheels of chariot and caisson, and mingled with the bodies of men and boys, we see his prostrate form, as with foam and blood each bit is red.
Though brave in battle and fearless of foe, he is an animal of peace. Behold the sturdy pioneer, and there the faithful horse bears the family burden or draws the crude-wheeled cart. Behold man as builder of civilization, and it is his strength that helps to turn with gleaming share the turf and glebe of hill-side and prairie. See him before the gala-day throng, and there, with sparkling jeweled mane and flaming tail, prancing, as if with wings, we hear them cheer his conquering form, that swift as wind and scarlet nostrils spread, is lost to sight like streaming stars. Fitted alike into the life of the humble and the pomp of splendor, he is everywhere the same universal horse.
Famed in antiquity, he is famed today. Were he extinct, he would live on, immortalized in Assyrian sculptures and by ancient poets. And everywhere his record is cleaned If he has ever been vicious, he learned to be so from man.
Truly, 'a good horse resembles a superior man.' How human is he. See him at the mating time when the mare's kick is a caress. Who has not seen him at noon aster the morning's work, tired and lazy, after satisfying his thirst at the watering place, but when urged on, pretend to be drinking, lingering with his lips in the water?
Go back in memory to the old farm home, and open again the big barn door at feeding time. Do you not hear again the soft-toned music of his plaintive whinny? Strange, that with his almost human capacity for companionship, he is often neglected, abused or misunderstood.
Fewer and fewer is becoming our vanishing equine population and I am making a plea for a greater appreciation of the horse while he lives, and that as every horse must die, he may, as he deserves, if his master be good, kind and gentle, die in his owner's care.