A little piece of fluff here in response to Jane’s picture prompt.
When they come to write the history of Hamelin it’ll be about pest control, won’t it? Kiddinapping, maybe. No one will ask about the hero-horse, the super champion, whose reputation is now in tatters. My legacy will be limited to a minor role in that picture, carrying another bunch of mewling ne’er-do-well ungrates back to their incompetent parents, led by the most puffed-up, self-regarding, blue-stockinged narcissus since Pontius became a pilot and flew too close to the sun.
You see, I was going to be the thoroughbred of all thoroughbreds, a glorious, much-feted, over-indulged race horse whose prize for ten years of sprinting to glory and gold standard unnecessary head-tossing would be ten years at stud. I mean, even Usain Bolt doesn’t get to live that life.
And neither will I.
Bloody unfair, frankly.
All I did was say I thought it would be nice to give something back. I was young, keen, enthusiastic. I was pushed into it, in truth. My people thought it would enhance my PR profile to offer a bit of pro bono help in time of need. What I expected were a few walk-on appearances, rally morale, bring a little sunshine, that sort of thing. What I got was pack-horsery.
They lined the streets to see me off, cheer me on my way. Even then I assumed I’d maybe lead the recovery team, prance at the front like the show-pony I am at heart with some Nabob on my back. But once outside the walls the truth dawned.
By the time we’d rescued the little darlings, I was broken. You can see how I can’t bear to look at the artist, I had to hide my tears. Ok self-pity isn’t attractive but it’s understandable, isn’t it? And maybe I shouldn’t have kicked his pert little arse quite as hard as I did.
These days you’ll find me down by the river. There are a few of us who’ve had a bad press. We meet for a chat, to reminisce. The children we rescued are all grown now. They’ve moved on. But the rats. They have a long memory. No one thought about them. And if I can carry all those children, just think how many rats I can get on my back.