This poem is the true story of my times, I knew and
loved this horse for many years.....
The old shire mare
munched her hay
she had pulled her
share of coal this
winters day ...
Along Willesden High Road
to Paddington Green
Old Bess pulled her cart
two tons of coal,to
burn in fires to keep out
the cold from human ones
eat your hay
your day is done....
Rest Old Bess
your home and dry
but its very bitter
add some more straw
to keep the ice
from the stable floor...
Morn did come
bitter and cold
Old Bess was harnessed
for the two ton cart
forty bages of anthracite coal
that Bess must pull
with a brave old heart....
Over the brow of Dollis Hill
a two ton load a daunting task
up this hill with ice like shinning glass
the driver led Bess by the halter
with skid pans on the back end wheels
that stopped the cart from rolling back
weary Old Bess just heaved that load,
slipping and skidding on the ice-bound roads...
Half way up this blessed hill
steam and froth came from her coat
Old Bess collapsed upon the road
her heart had burst, with this great load
we heard her driver plead with her
as tears rolled from his eyes
he craddled her head until she died...
They picked her up with no finess
carving her up in the "Horse Meat" shop
selling her remains as edible flesh
War time London, meat was scarce
not many would know, they'd ate