Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Iron Horse

Horses are very scarce in my part of town, which is not surprising since it is a Major Metropolitan Area.

There used to be ponies just up the hill at the zoo--patient little steeds that ferried children around and around the pony ring--but new exhibits have replaced them. Occasionally, a police horse trots through the park (but not for much longer, as the mounted police force was recently disbanded as a cost-cutting move). And a pony once appeared in our own garden, when we splurged on a pony birthday party for our horse-loving daughter.

You cannot keep a horse in the city (though you are permitted to keep potbellied pigs, a few goats, and up to eight chickens).

But what my neighborhood lacks in quantity of horses it makes up for in sheer bulk of one single horse who stands on a busy street near the grocery store, close to an industrial area.

His name is Buckeye and he's 14 feet long and stands 9 feet, 6 inches tall (that would be 28.2 hands, though I doubt they're measuring him at the withers).

He was constructed by artist Daniel Klennert, who makes all kinds of objects and animals out of scrap metal and driftwood: trains, dinosaurs, sea horses, a giant pig, a goat, a giraffe.

Buckeye incorporates a lot of car parts as well as enough horseshoes to outfit a riding stable. It's a kick to see him as I go about doing mundane errands.

Sometimes we imagine buying him and installing him in our yard, but we're in a residential area and I don't think we're zoned for super-sized steel stallions.

Buckeye's steely gaze.

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