In the Mane

When I was a kid of eight or nine I lived in a wee town called Bunnythorpe in NZ.  I had a friend named Billy Smith who lived on a farm up the road at the end of Maple Street.

I used to go there a lot and we would ride around on a huge Clydesdale draught horse which pulled a sled around from which we would feed hay or choumolier out to the cows. The horse was really gentle and docile, and we had a lot of fun with her.

clyde

Then one spring a pair of starlings started building their nest in her mane. Every afternoon we would brush out her mane and every morning the birds would start again. Old Mr Smith was getting quite pissed off about it because he hated starlings. He said if it was fantails he wouldn’t have minded.

He tried putting fly spray, lemon and titree oils and similar things in the horse’s mane to put them off, but nothing worked.

He called the vet and asked if there was anything he could use as a bird repellent. The vet suggested rubbing some brewer’s yeast in the mane.

 

He tried it and it seemed to work, because the birds did not come back.

bird-back-horse-23013291 3

He called the vet and told him the idea was successful but he didn’t understand why yeast worked when everything else didn’t.

The vet told him…

Yeast is yeast, and nest is nest, and never the mane shall tweet.

horselaugh

Author: Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.

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