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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)

TITLE: Pride and Prejudice
By Beth LaBuff


With apologies to Jane Austen

An acknowledged universal truth --
A leopard cannot change
His spots, nor can a horse or mule
His kinship rearrange.

Near the Stetson Derby racetrack
Were stabled in track’s shed,
Two broodmare sister horses,
Siblings -- Thoroughbred.

Each mare begat an offspring.
One, sired by a stud,
A yearling known as Fordyce --
A pedigreed pureblood.

But the lineage of his cousin
Was steeped in speculation,
Brunt of vicious jokes and gossip,
This unfortunate relation.

This cousin was a blue-nosed mule
Whose christian name was Grimstock.
His father was a donkey
From the wrong side of the racetrack.

Often Fordyce, without mercy,
And taunting, deeply cruel,
“Little beauty and no breeding,”
He would jeer to mock the mule.

Distinction of his rank preserved,
To keep Grimstock in place,
With equine haughty arrogance
Came a challenge to a race.

Eavesdropping near vain Fordyce
Was a horsefly on the wall,
Though little common horse sense
Echoed from that stall.

The horsefly hailed a deerfly,
Kin from his mother’s side --
His second cousin twice removed,
A bookie known trackwide.

The wager on this one-horse race,
With odds at three to one,
The horsefly bet the deerfly
That the mule would not run.

Fordyce knew he’d easily win
And showed a lot of pluck,
Stuck clover in his horseshoe
To increase his horse-hoof luck.

“They’re off,” was heard at race-start.
The derby had begun.
The horsefly and the deerfly rode
Fordyce, the favored one.

And then, who knows what happened,
Perhaps a charley horse,
But Fordyce hit the racetrack deck,
Smashed both flies from the force.

The outcome of this equine
Cousin’s racing duel,
And the winner by a blue-nose was
Grimstock, the dark-horse mule.

One step ahead of glue-truck fate,
His life-plans now revised,
Into the meadow’s long tall grass,
Fordyce was pasturized.

Two acknowledged universal truths
Boasting from a horse stall
Is quintessential horse nonsense and
Pride goes before a fall.

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This article has been read 1371 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shirley McClay 05/29/08
HAHA! Loved it! Very fun.
Lynda Schultz 05/29/08
I had a little trouble with the gait, but then, I'm no thoroughbred. Well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/29/08
I loved the delightful imagination and humor in this excellent poem.
Joanne Sher 05/31/08
The meter of this was just right, and the read enjoyable. Love your last stanza.
Marilee Alvey06/01/08
Loved the title. Loved the last stanza. In fact, loved the poem. It was enchanting and so well done.
Cheri Hardaway 06/01/08
Well done! I think Jane Austen wouldn't mind lending her title to this piece! I bet it was lots of fun to write. Blessings, Cheri
Yvonne Blake 06/01/08
(smile) an interesting POV...flies? I can think of a lot of proverbs that could go with this.
Well done
LauraLee Shaw06/01/08
Wowzer, this is creative, imaginative, witty. Your ending was perfect. This stanza was my favorite:
And then, who knows what happened,
Perhaps a charley horse,
But Fordyce hit the racetrack deck,
Smashed both flies from the force.

Love it!
Sharlyn Guthrie06/01/08
How fun...and so very creative! The title fits perfectly, and the moral of the story just as easily applies to the homosapien variety. Excellent!
Joshua Janoski06/03/08
I liked the perspective of the flies, and the rhythm flowed smoothly. THis is definitely some masterful writing being displayed here.
Judy Bowers06/03/08
Poetic justice--both sets of cousins got what was deserved! Thoroughly fun read!
Dianne Janak06/06/08
Beth, This is wonderful. I love it. Your story line, your humor, your great illustration of a scriptural truth, and the gift of poetry God has given you for us to enjoy! Well done.. you are a true Master!
Joanne Sher 07/04/08
Delightful (again hehe) - thanks for "playing," and I was SO happy to get to read this lovely romp once again ;)
Julie Arduini07/05/08
I remember this one, and it was a pleasure to read again! Love that last line!
Patty Wysong07/06/08
LoL--I love it! I love how you play with words--truly divine!