Herbert Nehrlich

(04 October 1943 / Germany)

Horse Sense Under The Oak Tree


It was the greenest green
that she had ever seen.
A tiny, sad-eyed frog,
daydreaming on a log.

'She' was, of course, a horse,
who used, as a good source
of minerals the log
upon which sat the frog.

It was a cloudless, balmy day
and many children were at play.
They did not bother either critter
due to their spinster babysitter.

Thus undisturbed, they did commence
a conversation near the fence.
The mare inquired why the green
was something she had never seen.

The frog, though young, said 'At my age
I'm somewhat of a macrophage,
my diet has its own routine
most bugs I eat contain some green.

Derived from noble chlorophyll,
the stuff keeps you from getting ill.'
' I see', the horse said, 'what about
a horse like me? I'm rather stout,

a fancy Palomino mare
with chestnut colour, which is rare.
Mind you, I like the way I look
in the reflection of the brook

up at the quarry, near the tip,
though I don't like my lower lip.'
'I know', the frog huffed, 'you were born
with chestnut colour on that morn,

what keeps you chestnut is your habit
to get up late, unlike the rabbit,
you eat the grass when it turns brown! '
The mare had placed a thoughtful frown

upon her fat-lipped oblong face,
'now understand that our race
is quite superior to small fry
like frogs and insects, who all die

without a funeral or wake.
You just get eaten, for the sake
of fighting excess population.
Which, a result of fornication

takes food away from upper classes!
I'm sure you've heard of 'horses' asses',
that shows how popular we are.
A horse is, everywhere, a star......'

'But Sire', interjects the frog,
I am just like a vital cog,
without me, bugs would take control,
that's why all creatures play a role.'

The mare regarded him with pity,
' You do not grasp the nitty-gritty,
I do not mind your bulging eyes,
but in this life, what counts is size! '

They talked some more, but in a while
the frog was tasting bitter bile
inside his gallic apparatus.
But when the mare let out a flatus

it was too much of condescension.
And, rapidly, now grew the tension.
An oak tree who had lived nearby
since Julius Ceasar said good-bye

had overheard this harsh exchange,
suggested that he could arrange
a resolution to enable
both animals within this fable

to make their peace without delay,
as oak trees always find a way.
So, in the shadow of the tree
they let their bygones bygone be.

The oak had told them that 'with age
one gradually discards their rage.
And green turns brown, and brown turns gray
and all of that is quite okay.

But that the wisdom of the ages
occurs reluctantly, in stages,
and that no creature can be free
until they reach old age like me.'

Submitted: Thursday, July 14, 2005

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  • Herbert Nehrlich1 (7/14/2005 10:01:00 PM)

    Considering that Gaius Julius Ceasar was born in 100 BC and was murdered in the year 44 BC, the oak tree's age is considerable. So that is when you reach the age of wisdom and freedom.
    Thanks for your kind comments Raynette and Mahnaz, always appreciated.
    H (Report) Reply

  • Raynette Eitel (7/14/2005 9:43:00 PM)

    They let their bygones bygone be? What a twist of words that is! Very humorous and very wise, Herbert.

    Raynette (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

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