dedalus Posted August 20, 2013 Share Posted August 20, 2013 I'm not going out of my way to be weird since this seems to have been a custom among the Celtic tribes until the early centuries of the AD era. The Doge of Venice "married" the sea by throwing in a ring to the passing waves from his richly-caparisoned gondola. The more ancient Celts seem to have have believed in a more direct approach .... Conch shells, a blare of horns, then a flare of the band of pipes. My poor old father is dead and I am the new king. I plan to dismiss or murder most of his advisors. In the meantime I have to fuck a horse. There's no way out of it. Tradition demands it. I asked if I could choose a horse I liked but was told to be patient, that the priests would arrange it all. Also, the poor bloody horse has to show signs of satisfaction. Dear gods! Here am I with my Latin and Greek, a student of Heraclitus, soaring along with Homer but dependent on the sighs of a large-arsed animal. It gives a new meaning to riding. My people are both fierce and loyal and we face a bitter war: strangers have come among us. They look to me to lead them and I will but I cannot be their king until I do this horse. I don't want to do this horse in front of all my people! This is an ancient and stupid custom and I don't want to shame myself except with David, whom I love, and that in private. I shall have to marry when I am king, of course, one of the daughters of the O Cahans, a sharp-nosed family of usurers wo are essential: they provide the money. O gods, here we go. The day of dread has arrived. Clansmen all with bright colours and banners are drunk already; wives and daughters gather in set-aside tents. I feel sick. I am dressed in ancient robes and dangling, tinkling, medallions. They lead me out to a stage of new wood in the centre of a grove of ancient oaks and I beg my knees to carry me on. A great cheer and the high-pitched Gaelic cry thunders as I mount the steps. I wave with all the enthusiasm of a man condemned to the gallows and wait, wait for the horse. O gods, here she comes, a two-year-old mare from the looks of her, as they whack and chivvy her up the ramp; the poor thing looks as nervous as me and I stroke her nose in sympathy. Hello, darling. Then there's the mumbling of the priests, cold hard-eyed men with soft and flabby hands,a secretive crafty breed; they murmur a code of memorized words that feed on fear and superstition. One of these hooded halflings looses the cords of my trousers and I stand, ashamed, before my people. He grins at me, the idiot, and I smack him hard and a cheer comes up from the multitude. O yes, we like violence. Lugh of Light, Mananaan of the Sea, come down, ye gods, and sanction me! But the gods are silent. They are always silent. And I stand there, drooping, I cannot do this, the innocent horse is also silent. The whores of the town are sent up to me to get me going, among waves of laughter, gay ripples among the gathered throng; mothers shade the eyes of their daughters but laugh along with their husbands. Do I want to be king? I must be king: a bitter war, I know, is coming. The whores do their business, I start to rise, then mount the ladder behind the horse. It has to be done. It has to be done. What shame, what barbarism! It doesn't take long. I pretend it takes longer, then raise my fist and bellow: will you follow me to the death? Yes, they roar, yes they will, yes and yes and yes and yes! This bitter business is done. (rewritten from an original 2009 version) Quote Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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