Why is Horse Poop acceptable and not Dog Poop?
Muttered Stalin to no one in particular.
My name is Stalin, Yes, I know a weird name for parents to call their firstborn. Maybe I was destined to be different and strange. You will find me as a central character in Mike Bowley’s book of short stories – titled; “Adventurous Tales from a Mountain Walk.”
Luckily for you guys, the author in question is out, and I know his password. Or as the great minds around the world say “While the cat is away the mouse will play.”
When you read the account of my life, you will see it has not always been easy. Apart from all the wrongdoings, I have been subjected too over the years I have kept my head down and my rock high.
But, like everyone else, I do have bones of contention, and this week the burning question for me is:
What’s the difference between horse poo and dog poo? Either is a pain in the ass when you stand in it.
At the beginning of the week, I was having my usual stroll around the local neighbourhood, checking all was well, and no bad guys were near. Guess what, yes I did stand in some dog poop, and I went crazy. I had no shoes on. Well, I am a street man and cannot afford such luxuries to protect me.
If I could, my memory would never allow me to remember I had them should I ever remove them from my feet.
My memory is another story, best read the book, and you will be enlightened to my predicament.
For some unknown reason to me, I can remember standing in the poop. Later in the week, to avoid the scorching heat of the dry season. I did my usual hike up the mountain by hitching a ride on the back of a Kenworth truck. The driver did not complain, mind you I do not think he had any idea I was there.
I do tend to keep myself to myself. I find it safer that way. Anyway, back to the mountain ridge above the city. I jumped from the back of the trailer just as the truck started to negotiate the old craggy trail and guess what. As my feet felt the ground, I professionally rolled so as not to damage my weak legs I landed directly into a mass of horse poop.
To say I was a little upset would be an understatement. I was only wearing my customary skirt and nothing else.
Did he say a skirt? Read the book, Chapter 17. All will become clear.
Most people who fall on this craggy old road usually change colour to terracotta. Not me. Agreed, I did change tone. I will leave you to decide on what colour description would be most accurate.
Then to make matters worse, three scrawny mutts arrived and ate the poop, and they followed me for hours after that!
I continued on my awkward walk up towards the small pueblo, and once there I located a local Veterinarians establishment next to a cafe. There was a wall between both and I quietly squatted down to try and make sense of it all.
Outside the cafe sat two old looking Campesinos (farm labourers to you) who could clearly smell my body odour and the richness of the bouquet emitting from the horse droppings.
The tall one, we shall call him “Horseman” nearest to me said to his companion “Do you know, no one wants to step in horse poop. Let alone dog poop. For the simple reason, there will be more of it.”
The shorter and fatter we will call “Dogman” due to the fact all the three dogs were now at his feet staring at me, replied with a chuckle “I know what you mean. In the past year, I must have walked miles over this ridge with my dogs, and I must say that stepping into horse poop has got to be more distasteful than stepping in dog poop.”
Dogman added further “I always try to step out of the way of dog poop but once or twice the horse poop has got me.”
I silently agreed with both and reasoned that it would take a massive lot of dogs to poop the same amount produced by a horse and one positive point referring to our canine friends they do like to spread it around to reduce the problem. Whereas a horse considers no one but himself.
That probably goes for the riders too. When was the last occasion you witnessed a horse rider dismount with a shovel and a black bag heading in the direction of the horse’s rear?
Do not ask me that question for obvious reasons – memory.
Horseman paused in thought for a brief moment and offered what he thought was a reasonable explanation for the lack of riders scooping up the evidence. “We horse owners only wish to see our horses manure clean and healthy with no unhealthy ammonia fumes.
We want to see football looking shaped droppings, and they must not be runny in texture, that will mean the horse is not well. My horses can produce up to 50 pounds a day each and I have ten of them.
I can vouch for that by the state of me; they must have all had a call of nature at the same time!
Dogman looks up with a question clearly on his mind “Whats in your horse’s poop then?”
“Oh, that’s easy to tell you, Lots of water mixed with grass, grain fibre, some minerals, scrumptious fats and a good dollop of soil.”
“You have to remember as they rip up the grass there will be some measure of soil attached. The horse knows to ignore this and chomp away.”
“I never thought of that” replied the enlightened Dogman.
Horseman quips up with a big smile displaying a row of “condemned houses” for teeth “My missus swears by the manure and will often be seen feeding the vegetables and flowers with it. Never had a bad harvest. So she must be right.”
“Not only that how many houses up here have been built with adobe bricks from Old Carlos down in the village? All his bricks have horse manure in them. Bear in mind, they do smell a bit in the rainy seasons, but a lot more acceptable than your mutt’s droppings.”
Dogman had another question “Can horse poop spread diseases to us humans?” he ended the question looking directly at me.
“No, if you landed face first into a pile of good old horse muck it is unlikely you will attract any disease. If there were any bacteria such as e-coli, it would quickly die in our sunlight. Believe me, your poop and your dog’s poop pose a bigger issue and more likely to spread disease and parasites to my missus and me.”
Both men were now in hysterics. Dogman was legendary for often being cut short on the ridge and seen by with his shorts down behind a bush or tree.
Another man wearing an outfit fit for a doctor appeared from the Veterinarians establishment. Glancing at the cafe owner and ordering his customary coffee and Empanada as he sat down with his long-standing friends and neighbours.
“So what’s happening “mis amigos” how are your animals?”
Both men ventured that neither had any problems except for Dogman and the amount of dog waste he had to deal with each day.
“Do you know, your dogs can excrete the average of one pound of waste per day. How many dogs do you have?” inquired the newcomer.
“Not sure, at last count a few years back, I reckoned I had thirty or more.”
My eyes almost exploded from my head – over thirty dogs in one household!
The vet leaned forward and looked at Dogman directly and spoke “Remember picking up your dog’s waste is imperative to your wellbeing and health. You have our mountain ridge water supply near your homestead. The likelihood of contamination in our water supply from faecal bacteria could be high if you do not pick it all up.”
Before Dogman could respond, the vet continued almost without taking breathe “Do you know your dogs and other peoples dogs, can carry common forms of heartworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, not forgetting roundworms, e.coli and salmonella?”
“Wow, I had no idea. How should I best dispose of all this waste? Asked Dogman who by now sat a little lower in his chair.
“Well, the best advice I can offer is you poop in your toilet, why not do the same with your dog’s waste. It’s a no-cost friendly removal method and is ecological sound too. Surely it is better to flush the waste instead of leaving it everywhere on the ridge?”
I think all three of us nodded in unison our agreement in his suggestion.
With this, the conversation moved to a more mundane topic called Brexit. I had no idea and no interest in what they were referring to so quietly got up and walked away.
I need to find somewhere to wash, the local source of a river will not be far away and I will need to have a poop. At last, I now know why horse’s poop is acceptable and a dog’s poop is not.
All these words are mine and not the author Mike, who I can see is on his way back from his walk. See you soon, if I remember.
If you want to read Stalin’s story of his early life click on the link below and catch up with him and many other characters from