Horse Haggling

He said, “Yes, I’ve got a horse for sale if you’ve got ready cash?
But it’s going to come right dearly ’cause this ain’t no kind of trash.
She’s a fine gaited high stepper, broke to snaffle, rein, or bit,
And if I weren’t on hard times I’d shore be keeping it;
But a dollar is a dollar and I’ve many mouths to feed.”
I said, “Sure, I’ve got the money, but I’d like to see this steed.”
He said, “She’s sound as ‘ary dollar, and she’ll run just like the wind.
She’s a class act, she’s got bottom, you won’t see her kind again.
She’s the pride of my whole stable,” and he muted down his voice,
Said, “I’m hard pressed to sell her ’cause this horse is really choice.”
Then we rounded the back barn and there standing in the lot
Was this stringy piece of horseflesh that the renderers had forgot.
It’s for sure she had bottom for she had surely bottomed out.
Wind was sprung, ribs showed sound, it was clear beyond a doubt,
Her high stepping days were over, and as for that fine gait;
I’ve no doubt she had it once, but I was twenty years too late.
Still, she had a shining eye and a spirit not quite dead,
So I folded back my wad and I told the man instead,
“I’ll take her off your hands if you throw in a sack of grain.”
And his face it got all red till I was sure he’d bust a vein,
So I said, “I’ll give you twenty, and I’ll put her on good pasture.
You won’t get a better offer, and I’ll save her from disaster.
I’ll feed her and I’ll fatten her till she’s prime as any beef.
She won’t die here in your livery and give you any grief.”
So we haggled on a while, but I could tell that he’d lost heart,
And when the final deal was struck, he still had the better part;
But the trader, unrelenting, said I was stealing her, of course.
Only winner in the bargain was probably the horse.

Horse Haggling~PKA’s~Advocate-February/March 2011

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