"The Studhorse, The Racehorse"
In a leisurely realm horses raced for the pleasure of men.
A black steed with a raven mane and a golden gelding with a silver mane outran the autumn wind.
They reveled in facing the other on the long earthen track.
For years they did battle, winning their lords and ladies great wealth.
One day, as all do, the horses grew old. The day came when stable boys surrounded the black steed, placed a harness upon his head, and led him away from the track forever, to stud on a small farm.
The golden gelding whinnied, for his racing mate was lost to him.
Yet, incapable of breeding, the gelding was allowed to race on.
Now racing against younger horses, valiantly did the golden gelding still try to win, but his now-aged muscles could not break the reins of time.
The golden horse tossed about his head in frustration, as he faltered and fell behind in the greatest races. Yet none dared face him in the smaller races, so great was his renown.
And so, on a burning, cloudless day, with parasols twirling in the corner of his feverish eye, the golden gelding fell -- broken from the strife of striving far beyond one's limits.
On that same merciless day, the black steed seethed.
Long since taken from racing to stud, he had sired seven colts and mares, and all who looked upon him in his small, fenced-in range were proud and happy.
But he cantered and galloped from one edge of the fence to the other. He reared, whinnying, and kicked at the wooden rails with the dawn light, and bucked high into the air.
Wanting to run. To race.
Yet, for fear of injuring him, his owners had raced him not once.
Enraged, the black steed tried to jump his too-tall fence, and fell -- broken from the strife of not striving.
Thus, exhaustion arises from too much effort -- and too little.
March 26, 2011, excerpt from The Parables of Reason (Chapter 2, "Assumption's Denial"), Copyright © 2011 by Frank H. Burton, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, The Circle of Reason, Inc. All rights reserved.
Dedicated to the effort of those made idle by the 2011 Japanese Triple Disaster, or "Toripuru Saigai," to remain active and aid their fellow citizens.