Susan Kane: Listen
I was one of those horse-crazy little girls. Something of a bookworm anyway, I devoured every book about horses I could find, from nonfiction how-to books, to Black Beauty, the Walter Farley Black Stallion series, and all of the Marguerite Henry books. The proud owner of a small but cherished collection of little horse statues, I built them elaborate stables and jumping courses around the grounds of the apartment building where we lived. A couple of friends shared my obsession, or at least went along with it. Probably the most ridiculous thing was the pretending to actually be a horse, or to be riding one. My bicycle was a pretty good stand in, but it only had one gait, and wasn't much of a jumper. Much better to prance about on shanks' mare--walk, trot, canter, gallop, and leap over fences. I think the Monty Python guys got their idea for the horses in the Holy Grail from me. This eventually led to riding lessons on actual equines, which I timidly pursued off and on. My passion got really reignited in college where a couple of friends who were much more accomplished riders took me under their wing and hooked me up with a stable that would let us ride for FREE. My summer job after junior year was running the riding camp at a local day camp, and I concluded that summer by injudiciously purchasing one of the camp horses. I was in love, you see. The purchase price wasn't so much, it was the upkeep. Somehow I contrived to keep hoof and mouth together till after graduation, and then was compelled to find work that would finance such an expensive avocation.
His name was Kesey. He was a cute 15.2 hand seal bay gelding. Kees was about six years old when I bought him, and I had to put him down when he was 32. Not many 'pets' live that long. I got to thinking about that and what it could mean. I thought about my own life during the time I had owned him---young adulthood, career, marriage, children. And losses. When my dad died in 2000 I remember thinking--"my damn horse is still around! Why did I have to lose my father?" We had also lost a few dogs during that time. Mortality. It's all about mortality ultimately, isn't it?
KESEYTook you off a stinkin’ horse dealer’s truckOn its way to the killing floorDid you know it was your life’s best day of luckWhen you walked through that trailer doorSo I dug down deep in my empty pocketJust couldn’t wait anymoreHad to have my mahogany rocketWe were so young in seventy four‘Cause you know about girls and horses,Irresistible forces, and warm mysteries.And horses, they live such a long time,You outlived three dogs of mine, and my Dad.You and me, we lived hand to mouthSecondhand tack and backyard stallsBut we found roads and tracks and walkaboutsFallen logs and old stone wallsWe flew through fields with your thundering gaitSlid square down sandy hillsRaced through standing rows of corn so straightLike Man o’ War of PhoenixvilleNow your old bones rattle, and you’re hobbling frailYour coat it’s mangy and it’s dullYour hips stick out in a skeletal jailYour ears are limp against your skullCome on now Keez, you know it’s time to goYou can’t be leanin’ on the wallYour time has come today and surely you must knowIf you lean you’re gonna fallWell I promise that you won’t feel a thingIn the cold mud of springI’ll drop you like a rockAnd send you back to those green fieldsWhere you can run young and healedBarefoot in the grass‘Cause you know about girls and horses,Irresistible forces, and warm mysteries.And horses, they live such a long time,You outlived three dogs of mine, and my Dad.Vocals: SusanGuitars: Susan and Billy MastersPedal steel: Tom CampBass: Eddie DenisePercussion: Steve Haas