The Lit Maven

Archive for September 2018

HorseshoeWe repaired some drains on the outside of our house recently and that lead to an extensive overhaul of the gardens.  While digging, I found a horseshoe.  We own almost an acre on a property that was once luscious farmland.  The horseshoe was at least 28 years old (as long as our part of the neighborhood was there) encrusted with rust and cemented with clay from the soil.   When was the horseshoe lost?  What was the horse’s name? Did he pull a tractor or a carriage? Did the farmer swear in anger at the loss of the shoe to his horse’s hoof or did he shrug his shoulders and think of it as another small annoyance in another busy day? How much of an expense in time and money was it to get the shoe replaced?  Did he replace the shoe himself or have it done by a farrier?  It’s amazing that the shoe was not unearthed during the house building and even more amazing that I had been living there, raking and planting for 26 years and did not find it earlier.  The horse has passed on and I’m sure the farmer has, too.  The farmer’s complaints about a bit more work to do in re-shoeing his animal, the animal’s discomfort at losing a shoe, the muck that grabbed the shoe and separated it from its owner have all faded, but I have the horseshoe.  I’ve tried in vain to clean it, but the rust is embedded now in the metal.  There are some parts of it that were flush against a hoof and I rub these every now and then and wonder at a more simplistic time in this place.