Today [December 2008], while catching up on this past weekend's newspapers, I was shocked to come across a front-page story about Canada's wild horses being shot for wolf bait:
Apparently the government is paying native Indians to kill wild horses so that the Ministries of Environment & Wildlife can study the feeding patterns of wolves (which won't be captured or killed) during the longer period of time it takes them to devour the large carcass of a horse. They call this killing a "cull" and justify it by saying horses compete for forage with wildlife and livestock (of which a wild horse belongs to neither, its status being classified as "feral"). But Indians opposed to feeding horses to wolves say there is no competition from horses because there is no overpopulation of horses and that if their people knew what some in the tribe were hunting, they'd be outraged.
This atrocity of throwing MAN'S BEST FRIEND to the wolves is symbolic of how our culture here in North America is being destroyed by governments conspiring with special interest groups. See WOLVES IN WOLVES' CLOTHING and LENIN BEHIND ENVIRONMENTALISM
Two of the Western World's greatest writers, George Orwell and Jonathan Swift, had an affinity for horses and symbolically compared them to humans in their great works - ANIMAL FARM and GULLIVER'S TRAVELS. See BOXER AND THE PROLES & HORSE DEATH IN ANIMAL FARM & HOONUMS TO GULLIVER ON YAHOOS
My paternal grandparents, about whom I've written in ANCESTRAL BOOKENDS TO ORWELL emigrated from England and farmed in Canada for 30 years - building up their homestead from scratch, like pioneers. They moved to city-life after WWII but went back to the old farm often to visit - and on summer holidays took us grandchildren with them. After my grandmother died in 1978, age 86, my grandfather, age 86, took a writing course at the college to help fill the void. One of his first assignments was to "name a place still dear to your heart" in which he described their farm.
I thought of my grandfather when I read that "horses as wolf-bait" article because in the story he wrote for that college class, he had expounded on the virtues of horses. I've scanned the pages and inserted horse photos in context with the story (with paintings by my grandmother) to share with "Orwell Today" readers. The fact that his essay is typed on the same kind of typewriter Orwell used is another one of those magical godcidents. See ORWELL'S TYPEWRITER MY GRANDFATHER'S. ~ Jackie Jura
"A PLACE STILL DEAR TO MY HEART"
This would HAVE to be our home on our Farm in Central Alberta, where we spent the first thirty years (less W W 2) of our married life, where our son was born and grew up.
My brother - who was married - and I farmed together, and I lived in rather a crude 'shack' some 200 yds from the main house, and it was to this shack, after a lot of scraping and scrubbing, that I brought my Bride.
Actually it was lumber built, with wall board on the inside, but no insulation and it leaked warm air like you wouldn't believe it; when atmospheric conditions were helping things along there would be icicles from the eaves to the ground all around the building; nor did we have electricity or plumbing; we had a good deep well about 5 yds away.
The building was 12' x 24' with a dividing partition, making a bedroom of about 10' x 12' and kitchen dining room - sitting room - store room and everything else in the larger room (12' x 14'); from this larger room we had the door out.
Fairly soon we added another room (kitchen) under which I dug (by hand of course) a cellar; we also added a 6' wide verandah on the east side where we did the separating, took off boots, and stored garden tools etc..
We had the usual 'Sentry-box' outhouse very picturesquely sited in a thick clump of willows bordering the slough on which there were always both wild and tame ducks.
Really it was rather a superior slough, and I prefer to refer to it as a pond, or small lake; it had several fresh water springs and an outlet and was quite deep; we built a diving board - well away from the privy - and often took a dip; in winter the young people from around would come and clean off, and keep cleaned off, a skating area.
We had neighbours - all great ones - a mile and a half in each direction, except to the east where the nearest one was about 5 miles.
By modern standards our living conditions would be considered unacceptable, but in all those years, the ups and downs of married life, the ups and downs of farm life, my wife never once complained of the conditions we lived under.
The House - let's call it that - was a few yards from the aforementioned lake, surrounded by willows and poplars - we had about a one half acre garden also bordering the lake.
Other life on the farm consisted of at least one dog, a cat or two, milk cows, poultry, hogs, and our herd of pure bred Hereford cattle; plus an abundance of wild life, deer - coyotes - muskrats - beaver - skunks - badgers - gophers - ducks - geese - partridge - prairie chicken; and I mustn't leave out the most important animals we had and in all kinds of circumstances were absolutely dependent on, our 8 or 10 horses.
We had no car and transportation was by buggy wagon, cutter or sleighs; our village was 7 miles away, and my wife would often do the shopping trips.
As mentioned our son was born here; it was a terrible night, and he beat the Dr to it by an hour or so - but has never seemed the worse for it.
I am sure all will agree that lumber, bricks and mortar form a very small part of a Home - it's what people take into it that determines its quality.
You can have your castles, your baronial Halls, your Ranch type Bungalows, your comfortable apartments - a fig for them all - MY LOVE remains with our old unpretentious farm home.
BLUE WILLOW DISHES POEM & ORWELL & JURA GRANDFATHERS VICARS & ORWELL'S TYPEWRITER MY GRANDFATHER'S & ANCESTRAL BOOK ENDS TO ORWELL
More Alberta wild horses being shot ($10,000 reward for info leading to arrest). CTV, Dec 9, 2008
BC's wild horses being shot for wolf bait (gov't paying aboriginal hunters to kill for Ministry of Environment & Wildlife). Vancouver Sun, Dec 6, 2008
VISITING ORWELL'S ANIMAL FARM
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