GREENE COUNTY , ARKANSAS
BY : JAMES WOOD
THANK YOU !
MEMORY # 108
OLE KIT AND RED
Author : James Wood
Recently, I was interpreting a poem entitled The Auld Farmers New Year Morning Salutation To His Auld Mare, Maggie. The poem was written by the Scottish Bard, Robert Burns over 200 years ago. It tells a story of a farmer who with his horse, Maggie, had grown old together. It ends with two verses that set me to thinking of the two animals that played very important roles in the life of our familyKit and Redtwo large red mules.
The last two verses as I have interpreted them follow:
And thank not, my old trusted servant, Maggie,
that now perhaps you are less deserving,
And your old days may end in starving.
From my last bushel of grain,
A quarter-peck, I will reserve out of it,
Laid by just for you.
We have worn to crazy the years together,
We will totter about with one another.
Because I care for you, I will move your tether
To some spot reserved just for you,
Where you will nobly fill your stomach
With little or no work to do.
I recall, when we moved
from the swamp of Eight-Mile to the hills of
Kit died in her sleep soon after we moved to Walcott, but Red lived for several years afterward. Red died peacefully in his pasture well over 20 years old. They had served well and deserved their retirement.
Rather than have dogs or other wild animals dig them up, their bodies were burned. They were never replaced.
Every once in a while, Little Granddad Ira or Dad would hook old Red to a plow or some other tool to work the garden. It seemed Red once again felt he was useful and stepped out proudly. It was a time that most of us would go out to see him work and would be proud of him again as he performed the task for whom he alone was best suited.
Lesson learned from this memory: As Kit and Red worked in
the harvest, sometime
NOTE: ROBERT BURNS POEMS ARE FOUND ON THE WEB UNDER ROBERT BURNS.