En Draught

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En Draught

Two draught horses skidding logs
Acrylic on masonite, 32 3/4 x 18 in. (1999)

The Beligian and other breeds of large bodied draught horses have been toiling for the benefit of mankind forever. Even with modern tree harvesting equipment, there are places that the mechanical beasts cannot go without destroying everything around them. Arguably, a draught horse is cheaper, and is probably more affectionate than a John Deere.

En Draught is a kind of hommage to my grandfather, on my mother's side. In his 82nd year, he felled two 100-year (or older) maples with his old McCulloch chain saw. He hired a man and his team of Belgians to to tow the monsters back to the cottage property, where Grampa bucked and split the trees into firewood.

It was impossible not to be affected by the sight of these big, affable animals as they strained and pulled, needing only the lightest touch of reins and the continual exhortations of their keeper. That's keeper, not master, as I am sure they humoured this guy only for the clean straw, oats and shelter . . . oh, and the exercise . . .

. . . and such fine beasts they are.

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P.O. Box 659, Winchester, Ontario. K0C 2K0   613-774-5180
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© 2012 Douglas Laing