Horse News

Wild Horses and Burros: Twas the Night before Christmas

by Vicki Tobin and R.T. Fitch, Illustration by Kerry Kelly of the Houston Chronicle

“First published on Christmas Day in 2009; the characters may have changed but the message still rings true to this very day.  The roundups must stop so that we can appropriately care for and manage, if needed, our national treasures on their rightful range.  At Wild Horse Freedom Federation we offer the gift of our continued fight in support of the Wild Horses and Burros to live free with their families on their promised public land.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good fight!” ~ R.T.

Twas the night before Christmas…

artwork by Kerry Kelly ~ Houston Chronicle

Twas the night before Christmas on our public land
not a Mustang was stirring, knowing what was at hand.
They huddled in fear hoping someone would care,
in hopes that the advocates soon would be there.

The foals hid in cover while Mom stood her ground
while stallions and bachelors, made sure Kornze wasn’t around.
With Jewell lurking and Guilfoyle so close by
the bands must stay quiet and not blink an eye.

When out on the range there arose such a clatter
The Mustangs all knew, what was the matter.
They ran to take cover, on wings they did fly
For surely they knew, that many would die.

The visions of million$ caused Cattoor a big grin
While Bolstad and Spencer high-fived a big win
More horses removed by ignoring the law
Hold on to your hats and stand back in awe.

The chopper did glisten on new fallen snow
Sealing the fate of the horses below.
When all of a sudden, the bands all stood still
And watched as the chopper came over the hill.

They stood in amazement, can it really be true
The advocates appeared right out of the blue
The horses retreated, not believing their eyes
For surely this is another, BLM guise.

Then leading the charge, lively and quick
were Kathy and Holland and Fitch with a stick
More rapid than lightening, Coffey followed in tow
with Simone close behind, directing which way they go.

Now Ginger and Paula and Ann times two,
Oh Marjorie and Dawn and Julie it’s you.
Now Vicki and Jerry and Lisa and Daryl
with cameras in hand come Terry and Carol.

Down the hill they descended toward the horses with care
and watched as the chopper, fled into the air
The advocates came with injunction in hand
the decree shouted out, not on our public lands!

Enough is enough the judge did declare
the horses were saved by the breadth of a hair.
‘Our work here’s not done,’ the advocates cried
‘the choppers still flying, other herds could be spied’

It’s back to D.C. with a permanent plan
to ensure all the horses could live on their land.
So love was delivered to the horses with pride
but the warriors must leave so that no more would die.

They climbed up the hill and turned back to the band
who all now had gathered on what was their land.
‘We carry you with us,’ R.T. did say
‘as we go to the White House to show them your way.’

The horses all bowed with a sign of approval
as they all now knew that there was no removal.
They neighed and they nickered to the spirit above
‘Thanks for sending the people who give us their love.’

original artwork by Kerry Kelly of the Houston Chronicle

Categories: Horse News

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9 replies »

  1. Such a great poem!
    My favorite part is “They climbed up the hill and turned back to the band who all now had gathered on what was THEIR land.”
    The land IS their land … it is their promised land … where they deserve to live and die wild.


  2. Your story of Christmas for the wild horses and burros couldn’t be said better.
    There are 54,000 wild horses languishing I’n pens like concentration camp victims. What have They done to deserve this? They don’t deserve this.

    The BLM Kmows it’simpossible to adopt all of them so why are the still doing these brutal roundups?
    MUCH of this public land they were on had been leased to ranchers for profit and we know what cattle do to the land.

    Would be a lot cheaper to let these horses free than to pay for these horrid helicopter roundups and feed. Why do they have to be penned up for 3 years? What is that going to do for them psychologically and physically?
    They need shelter and plenty of excercise and without they will deteriate.
    There really is no justified reason for this.
    People need to keep hounding Congress and senators about this inhumane treatment and abuse of our wildlife on public lands we pay taxes on.
    How can they be such a burden of overpopulation when thousands already have been slaughtered? They only give birth one at a time. Many have died of natural causes.and predators.
    The idea of castration should
    NEVER be allowed.. Not only is it inhumane but
    It is the stallion that protects the herd.and keeps the gene strong in the herd. Birth control for the mare would be more humane IF need be.
    Why have we turned on these innocent, iconic horses that have been our faithful companions throughout history? Where would we be now without them?
    We must fight like crazy to protect them and set them free … so they can run wild as they were meant to be!


  3. A terrific poem that hopefully in 2016 will be even better with all roundups and removals stopped. Also you may want to include Karen for Karen Sussman who has done invaluable research on the complex society of our wild horses at ISPMB.
    Merry Christmas everybody !
    P,S. Please say an extra prayer for my precious Penny who has EPM. She is 30 years old and helped us raise our daughter who has a heart defect. I know all here will understand what she means to me. I will not let her suffer–don’t worry. She is under the care of a very kind vet.
    All my mustang girls said Happy New Year from KY ! .


    • Barbara, I’m so sorry to hear about your Penny. I’m pretty certain that I can speak for all of us when I say that we sure do understand how much she means to you. Have you had her for all of her 30 years?


      • Louie, she was about 1 1/2 when I got her. She has Cushings and has lost teeth so I’ve been feeding her special feed. Now she is barely eating so this has to change.
        Thank you for caring.


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