Horseshoes in Heaven

He was covered all in sweat as I tied my old horse there in the shade.

He said an old horse that will stand more than five minutes, oh there ain’t never been one made.

He wore an old ragged pair of leggings that had been cut off just below the knees. His old hands were hard and callused, and his arms were like two limbs that hung off a giant oak tree.

He said, “You reckon you could hold this old fellar? He seems to have a lot of trouble standing still. Why you’d think after 45 years of this I’d had enough and got my fill.”

He said, “Trimming and shoeing these old horses is sorta like dealing with life. Nobody said it was going to be easy but if you do it with pride and honesty you’ll get through the times of trouble and strife.”

With that shoe in hand and a mouth full of nails he went back to resume his chore. “Pick it up old fellar,” he mumbled “we just like this one and one more.”

Well he nailed that shoe on pretty quick and never missed his aim.  He said, “Sometimes in life you really have to struggle if there’s going to be any kind of gain.”

“Take that old anvil there that I use to shape the shoes. Sometimes in life we’ve all got to have a little adjusting to keep us straight, to keep us true.”

“It’s just like everyday living, cause’ sometimes you don’t get a fair deal. Some of these horses are pretty good and some act awful ill.”

Well I watched him untie this old horse, his back still slightly bent. And in my many hours I wondered, how many hours under an old horse’s belly he’d actually spent.

But now his old shirt was salted down soaked by the summer sun and it didn’t take him long a trimming and my old horse was done.

I thanked him for his story and I paid him for his time, and as I was riding away I could hear his old anvil ringing, making a perfect chime.

Well there ain’t a day that went by that I didn’t think of him and his advice, and I’d usually stop and see him every week sometimes more than twice.

But now the horses they ain’t lined up no more. His old anvil just sets there silent. And his leggings lay empty in the floor.

Yeah sometimes I go to wondering and it makes me feel sorta sad but the good Lord needed a farrier and he got the best one when he hired my Dad.

Wash and Joy Rollins

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