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by Bob Stein

It's a curious conflict of logic and dreams,
And I can't help but wonder how silly it seems.

I'm strong, decent looking, and not all that old,
Have a sports car for summer, a sedan when it's cold.

My house, while not fancy, is at least partly mine.
Though the bank will hold title 'till two-oh twenty-nine.

Work is a hassle sometimes, but it's steady.
And if it gets too bad, my resume's ready.

Funds in the bank, just in case things get rough.
There's not very much, but I think it's enough.

Great friends and family bless my existence,
Though the idea of marriage still meets with resistance.

All in all, I am leading a wonderful life,
(Jimmy Stewart, forgive me), no worry or strife.

Despite my success there's a silly desire,
An impossible fantasy I cannot retire.

It's plagued me since childhood, persisted though youth.
To be honest, some people would think it's uncouth.

To entertain thoughts about losing it all,
And spend the rest of my life in a pasture or stall.

Not as a human - that's silly, of course.
You see, I want to be changed to a horse.

Why? It's a mystery pondered often and long.
It doesn't make sense, but my interest stays strong.

Could I long to escape from humanity's woes?
Is it wanting to walk on four hooves, not ten toes?

Perhaps freedom from finances, payments, and clothing,
(Especially ties, which I view with deep loathing).

Or the prospect of shedding society's rules,
Judging others by standards and laws made by fools?

Tranquility, maybe, imagined contentment,
Of animals lacking deceit and resentment.

The plusses are many - strength, freedom, and size...
Now wait, that's a pack of ridiculous lies.

Even if granted my fondest desire,
Of becoming a handsome young Clydesdale or Shire,

Starting out as a colt, with a long life ahead,
Thirty years as a stallion before I am dead,

The truth of the matter is I'd be a fool,
To think any part of my life I would rule.

As a draft horse, from birth I would be property,
Of some human who always knows 'what's best' for me.

For a while I'd be nursing, and maybe not care,
That I'm locked in a stall, not outside in the air.

Later, however, I'd gaze out with rapture,
Dreaming of stretching my legs in the pasture.

Those times all determined by the one who's my owner,
The purpose not fun, just a good muscle toner.

The schedule that's used to determine my feeding,
Would have nothing to do with my own wants and needing.

The mares of my daydreams would be kept at distance,
And urges to join them all met with resistance.

Unless it is planned and controlled by a breeder,
No mare for me though I desperately need her.

I suppose I could fight back, a draft horse is forceful.
And my background would make me supremely resourceful.

At best that would win me a couple of duels,
Before I was stripped of my family jewels.

I'd be frustrated, wanting to make my own choice.
But complaints can't be made when you don't have a voice.

And when listening, would I still know what was said?
Would my memories, my past life all stay in my head?

A colt's brain is smaller, with instincts quite strong.
Any human intelligence wouldn't last long.

Like the Spanish I took back in high school and college,
I'd gradually lose all my skills and my knowledge.

When your fingers are hooves, there's no point in retaining,
All the aspects of grammar that took years of training.

There'd be no way to write, and no way to speak.
Besides, if I could I'd be branded a freak.

Computers? Those same hooves would crush any keyboard.
And horse's eyes work great for sides but not forward.

Which means books and screens would be awkward at best,
And my literacy level would soon be regressed.

Back to grade school, then primers. Losing all might be better.
Seeing meaningless marks, not a number or letter.

Those skills aren't important, I guess, to a beast.
And the colt I'd become wouldn't care in the least.

The rest of my memories? My family and friends?
Would my mind turn them equine, 'till humanity ends?

At what point would the person I was cease to be,
Replaced by a horse with no concept of 'me.'

Or would I remain fully human inside,
A man bound forever in a draft horse's hide?

Lacking the instincts a horse has from birth,
That allow it to breathe, breed, and walk on the Earth?

Would I stumble on four legs, remembering two,
Gag on soiled straw and water, hate the grass that I chew?

And mares, seen as mates or a bestial wrong?
Is there any place, any herd I'd belong?

All in all, it's quite foolish to think of the trade.
Yet each time the case against change has been made,

I think of one more thing, the chance to explore
Being something not human, perhaps something more.

People climb mountains despite risks of death,
Extreme sports have been known to take the last breath

Of those seeking minutes of life that are thrilling.
The odds of surviving are sometimes quite chilling.

Against that I balance my quirky desire,
Is the cost any greater, the risk any higher?

To experience change from a man to a beast,
An emotional high, a sensory feast.

The transformation itself would be worth the full price,
Given the chance I would go through it twice.

Or three times, or fifteen, a hundred, or more.
Never knowing the outcome, the fate that's in store.

Back to what's real, now. This can't be done.
Thoughts of changing myself must remain just in fun.

Still, I wonder each day what the future will hold.
Transformation might happen before I'm too old.

And if the chance comes to be changed to a horse,
I'll be first in line (after Thomas, of course).

The End