About animals

In the year of the horse

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Under the saddle

Literature began ... with a hoof strike. Is it said that the winged horse Pegasus hit with a hoof on the side of Mount Helikon? It is said. It is said that at the site of the impact a source of Hippocrenus appeared, giving inspiration to poets? It is said. So that’s how it is.

And this is no coincidence. "Ancient Roman Greeks" are absolutely right. Myths never lie. In our youth, we suspected the Greeks of impudent substitution, because we thought that only a beautiful lady who stamped her lovely leg could cause genuine poetic inspiration. But with age they came to terms with the main version, for there really is no spectacle more poetic than a galloping horse.

So for Lermontov Kazbic, the beauties are clearly losing in comparison with the horse. Remember what eloquent song an abrek sings on a halt:

“Four wives will buy gold -

The black horse has no price! ”

Yes, and his friend Azamat without much thought exchanged for a horse ... his sister.

The directors have long noticed that viewers can watch a galloping horse for hours. And they shamelessly use it, overloading films with long chases. About sculptors generally silent. We simply stand by the Klodt horses in mute admiration for grace and the elements. And we recall what a subtle and somewhat frivolous compliment a brilliant creator received from the emperor: “You, Klodt, know how to make horses no worse than a stallion!”

Since literature began with a hoof strike, it is not surprising that a great many works have been written on horses. And to bring “space” into this “chaos” is not possible (space is translated as order).

All the classics of world literature visited the stable. Both ours and theirs. And Tolstoy, and Chekhov, and Kuprin, and Lermontov, and Pushkin, and Galsworthy, and Faulkner. It’s even awkward to mention Homer or Shakespeare from his “Kingdom for a Horse!”

“You will accept death from your horse” - this is perhaps an exceptional case in literature when a person suffered from a maned beast. Although, to be precise, the prophetic Oleg accepted the demise and not from the horse at all. From the snake. There is nothing to hang around skulls.

And this excuse “Bolivar will not bear two!” Is clearly from the evil one. The horse would surely have borne two cowboys from the story of Henry. Simply, one of them did not want to share the booty with a friend. He shot a friend. And he disguised his shameless act, you see, by caring for the horse. Humanist!

And again, people put together the ill-fated Trojan horse to instigate the massacre in Ilion at the instigation of the cunning Odysseus.

Chess Horse by the rules walks is not easy. Why was he, a straightforward and impetuous warrior, endowed with looping moves? Not fair! Rather, the crafty royal queen should make such diplomatic ekivoks, and the horse should take on her quick raids on the board.

Can these heartless and callous people, absorbed only by themselves, be able to understand the grief of a man who has lost his son? That's why the cabman, the hero of the Chekhov story, trusts his confession ... to the horse. She will understand the inconsolable father and share his longing.

According to Heinrich von Kleist, a classic of German literature, the peasant uprising in Germany led by Michael Kolhaas was due to a pair of black horses brazenly appropriated by the cunk landowner in payment for driving herds past his castle, you see.

Each hero has only one in life, I am destined for him by fate, my beloved ... horse. He stands in the stable Burushka- Kosmatushka, overgrows with dirt, but doesn’t let anyone near him. Waiting for Ilya Muromets to return from the princely dungeon and caress her with a heroic right hand. And he also doesn’t need anyone else, because the epic horse is not just a vehicle, but a faithful companion friend, who, together with the rider, also destroys the enemy’s manpower in battle - shakes off and tramples down.

A horse is a real "proletarian power." So called his faithful companion unforgettable Stepan Kopyonkin, the character of the Platonic "Chevengur". The epic hero, completely absorbed in the idea of ​​world revolution, puts his faithful comrade in third place after Rosa Luxemburg and communism. And the Proletarian Force deserves more. She herself determines the movement of Kopyonkin along the roads, choosing the paths at her discretion. That's why the bandit Groshikov can not keep up with the hero and meet him in a duel. Kopyonkin is invincible. Like Don Quixote with his Rossiante, he accomplishes feats in the name of his Rose-Dulsinea, and his movement continues. Put your ear to the ground - and you will hear the tread of savvy hooves of the Proletarian Force somewhere in the mountains of North Korea. Kopyonkin is still in the saddle. Side by side with Ilya Muromets, Don Quixote and the Mainrid Horseman-Without-a-Head, Stepan Kopenkin does his military work in the name of the coming world brotherhood. And the horses are fully consistent with the heroic appearance of these eternal champions of Truth and Justice on earth.

“I just could not understand what it meant that they called me the property of a person,” reflects Tolstoy's Holstomer, a piebald gelding crippled by people. “The words: my horse, related to me, a living horse, seemed to me as strange as the words: my land, my air, my water ... We stand in the ladder of living beings higher than people.”

Such a disappointing conclusion is made on behalf of the horse by Count Tolstoy, who has been tormented throughout his life by the idea of ​​an unfair distribution of material wealth in society.

The count had the right to speak from the muzzle (?), Perhaps not on behalf of the horse. And not only talent allowed him to get used to the image of Holstomer. According to Turgenev, in his youth, for nearly ten years, Tolstoy spent in the saddle and was well versed in horses.

The Kuprin character, the Emerald stallion, becomes a victim of human meanness walking towards the goal over the heads of others. To be poisoned is the fate of kings and champions. And a frisky horse is no exception. Although at racetracks rarely resort to poisons. It’s easier to insert a needle into the muscle so that the horse limps. And after running, imperceptibly pull out the needle. Therefore, on the eve of the races, nobody is allowed to enter the horses. But what about running and racing, even if in theaters the ballerinas poured crushed glass into the shoes of the rivals. People everywhere add dirt to the pure excitement of competition.

It is no coincidence that Swift gave horses a whole country inhabited by ideal maned creatures, to which small humans, like walking to the moon. Guigmans are smarter, more noble and poetic than people. This is somewhat contrary to the properties of friendship arising between creatures that are close in quality to nature. Forgive the dean for his excessive bile. Or we admit that our friends have the same weaknesses as we sinners.

We, too, dutifully drag our strap around our lives and also dream of freedom. “I would bite the brand with my teeth.” "- sang Alexander Rosenbaum, getting used to the image of a horse.

We also strive to overtake rivals in career running around. And someone falls dead at the finish line.

One of the authors of this section from childhood was associated with horses. His ardent desire to write a thank-you hymn to the maned creatures can only be explained by the fact that he has seen how sparing they are on racetracks and horse races in pursuit of awards. Or simply simply perceived his pets as partners and friends, betraying which is not possible.

And if this betrayal happened, it will remain forever a stain on the conscience of people. Remember Boris Slutsky’s poem “Horses in the Ocean”? There was no place in the boats of the steamboat that had been attacked by a mine for horses. "A red island sailed across the ocean." A stunning requiem for loyal human beings.

There is a monument to Mikhail Sholokhov on one of Moscow boulevards. And not even so much to him as to horses captured by a whirlpool of either the Civil War, or the quiet Don, or the endless ocean. Water from the fountain flows down an inclined plate, from which horse muzzles protrude. And it seems, just a little more, and the soulless element of suffocating horses will absorb. And I believe that they will survive, they will come out, no matter what. And everything will end differently than in the verses of Slutsky. Amazingly capacious, multi-valued this symbol does not leave anyone indifferent, makes everyone think about life and its laws, incomprehensible to the mind, far from the highest justice.

"That's all. And yet I feel sorry for them, the red ones who did not see the land, ”the poet concludes the tragic narrative. The only thing that cuts our ears in this piercing poem is "all the same." Why "all the same"? For a bunch of words? Unlikely. Not the author Slutsky to put words to fill in the rhythmic voids. Apparently, against the background of the saved people, the loss of the herd is not so significant. But "still" their pity. All the more insulting and unjust it sounds “all the same” in relation to those who for centuries have not spared their belly for humanity.

Tell me who your friend is and I will tell you who you are. And who are you? You are a horse! Otherwise, how can one explain such close attention on the part of writers to creatures savvy on all four hooves, tamed once with a pragmatic goal - to carry weights and people. Over time, the horse became humanized to such an extent that mutual understanding became almost 100 percent. The horse in literature is almost equal to the person in actions and experiences. She does not appear to be a meek, slaughtered slave in the best works, but a true friend, who sacrifices her life without hesitation for the sake of man.

Literature began with a hoof strike. And until it ceases to exist, the horse will always serve as a source of inspiration for present and future artists of the word. And not just words. But we’ll talk about other “hippie” genres later.

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