Lord Elmer – The story of a reluctant stud
“It was – SUCH – a confusing day,” Lord Elmer said. Like any high-strung, reddish-brown-coated thoroughbred, Lord Elmer refused to lie down in the rolling bluegrass pasture. His long snout flared; his voice was a bit lispy and gravely. “I am … quite confused.”
“Yes, yes, go on,” Dr. Keene said. A winter white painted four-plank fence surrounded Dr. Keene’s office. A stereotypical wise old grey owl, he hunched atop the highest point of a jagged oak limb, the ancient tree soared like octopuses’ tentacles toward the clear baby blue sky.
Lord Elmer shook his long head in disgust.
“Well, you see it all happened without any warning,” Lord Elmer said. He flicked his manicured hooves forward as he shook his head, his perfectly fashioned black hair mane wisped across his long neckline. “I have a lovely stall, I demand it be kept spotless, I simply will not accept an untidy stall, counter to our metro-sexual nature, don’t you agree?”
“Yes, yes,” Dr. Keene said. He hooted. “Oy vey–”
“Well, I was sampling some new oat mixtures, European you know, the good stuff,” Lord Elmer whispered. Lord Elmer glanced over at the other horses chewing grass. “Jimmy mixes them up for me, such a good stable hand, did you know my stall was made with mahogany and padded special just for me? And it’s larger than all the other stalls? Yet dark and cozy, perfect for entertaining, and I always have fresh hay.”
“I was not aware,” Dr. Keene said. The wise owl made no obvious facial movements, although his beak clenched, slightly. “You must be quite important, you meshuggener-”
“Its genetics, I suppose, that’s what Jimmie tells me,” Lord Elmer said gazing up at Dr. Keene, with a giant orb like eyeball, he confidentially winked, a smirk revealed his large white teeth, his front hooves dug into the turf as he sauntered around the outdoor office.
“Genetics?” Dr. Keene said. Comfortable within his own feathers, he accepted the verbal bait.
Lord Elmer huffed, and then thundered across the pasture, circled a quiet group of mares and yearling, who appeared to ignore Lord Elmer as he galloped back toward his afternoon therapy session.
“See, I’m rather fast, record time, even without shoes,” Lord Elmer said. His massive muscled chest heaved upward as his lungs sucked in all the oxygen off the planet. “I feel so viral on a hot, sunny day like today.”
“Yes you are, you mensch,” Dr. Keene said. “But, we all know that, now don’t we?”
“Well, it’s true, I’m sometimes a bit shy about all those gold and silver trophies – you know, back in the mansion,” Lord Elmer said. He neighed. “But, I should have been in that Derby, the Triple Crown for sure – I feel robbed.”
“Life is not fair,” Dr. Keene said. He twirled his head around like a demon-possessed bird. “Born too late, to close to January? Your legs were not quite ready, tough decisions made, but you did well in numerous stakes races, the Breeder’s Cup.”
“Of course, but it was always so cold in November,” Lord Elmer said. He gazed wistfully into the late spring sky. “Football season – lets not discuss basketball and whatnot – like some sort of cult around here, but, nobody really cared, but the horse people, and gamblers – of course, it’s not like the derby.”
“Now, let’s try to focus, tell me about that day, that has obviously been troubling you,” Dr. Keene asked. He hooted. And he hooted again. As he hunched down to listen, he wobbled on his sharp claws that dug into the barnacled oak bark.
“Well, like I said, I was enjoying some fresh oats,” Lord Elmer said lowly. “Jimmie seemed to know this new stable hand, it was weird, and they both grinned at me.”
“Grinned?” Dr. Keene asked.
“Well, now that I think about it, more of sinister smirk,” Lord Elmer said. He sucked in a deep, deep reflective breath, snorted as his nose vibrated. “They told me, and I quote, ‘It’s a new day big boy, time you started sharing your seed,’ they said.”
“Well, you realize this is a horse farm, and you’re a horse?” Dr. Keene asked. He blinked his black eyes and hooted.
Lord Elmer trotted out to the center of the pasture – shrieked – then galloped back to in front of the wise old owl.
“As if!” Lord Elmer said.
“Calm down, tell me more, get it out,” Dr. Keene said. He fluffed his wings. “Oy vey, I’m not judging you, besides, this is just between us.”
Lord Elmer circled the massive oak tree three times and stopped in his tracks. Lord Elmer stared wistfully across the pasture at the red metal roofed, white painted clapboarded barn.
“Well, this new man – not Jimmie – lead me to that suspicious barn over there, I’d noticed it before, it’s shaped different, I wondered what went on inside,” Lord Elmer said. He whispered. “Yes, I’d heard rumors, but, I’d ignored the demeaning chit chat.” Lord Elmer lifted his right front hoof up near his snout. “Seems they can’t keep their hooves off each other, you know what they say … Oh, I just love your shiny coat, or I’d like to see what’s under that thick tail … it never stops.”
“I don’t understand,” Dr. Keene said. He lightly chuckled through his beak.
“Pa-leez, I’ve seen the internet sites, the conversations, disgusting,” Lord Elmer said. His head rose high with his chest stuck out. “Like were all just pieces of meat.”
“Yes, yes,” Dr. Keene said. He shrugged. “But that can happen … just stay out of Japan.”
Lord Elmer blew out his nostrils, he squealed.
“Dutifully, bravely, courageously, I allowed – HIM – to take me into that barn of iniquity,” Lord Elmer said. “But I kept my head high as I went into battle.”
“Who? Who, what’s it like?” Dr. Keene asked.
“What can I say, as if I’m reliving a nightmare,” Lord Elmer said. He scratched at the turf.
“Just take in a deep breath, let it out,” Dr. Keene said. “I can’t help you, if you don’t tell me everything, try to remember, I know it must be tough.”
“Yes, yes, of course,” Lord Elmer said. He wobbled and shook his head, his black haired mane lashed across his neck. “Needed to clear my tiny brain–”
“Good, good,” Dr. Keene said. He pushed his black framed glasses back up his beak. “What did you see, try to think of details, put yourself in context … I’ll glide you through this.”
“First, he hooked me to a railing just inside the barn door, there, I spied inside, I was instantly traumatized,” Lord Elmer said. His posture stiff, as if he was looking at a ghost.
“Who, who,” Dr. Keene said.
Lord Elmer nodded toward a nearby group of horses.
“The husky mare over there near the tulip poplars, the big girl, she’s quite a bit older than me – cougar tramp,” Lord Elmer said. He looked up into the sky. “It was me, I knocked her up … she used me.”
Dr. Keene fluttered his wings. He hooted and chuckled.
“Congratulations, mazel tov, hey, nice looking MILF for a horse,” Dr. Keene said. “I guess I should call you Sire Elmer now, and not Lord Elmer?”
“Pa-leez, you don’t understand, MILF?” Lord Elmer said. “It was not my choosing, they made me do her, and it happened so fast, just now I feel wobbly.”
“Now, now, you know, a dirty acronym for Mare I’d Like … well, never mind,” Dr. Keene said. He leaned forward, draped his wings over his claws. “Sorry, that was unprofessional, okay, but this is a normal sensation, it’s your first time to sire, but that’s the magic of life here on the farm, right?”
“Magic? Try humiliating,” Lord Elmer said. He whispered and scratched his haunches against the fence post. “Is she looking at me? I can almost smell her, you know, I think she smokes weeds, and I think she drinks … that day, her hooves had not been shaven. She just stood there, chained to the floor. I’m surprised she was not smoking, she was so mellow, she must’ve had a few pops.”
“No, she’s just chewing grass, besides, she’s prego, she’s not smokin’” Dr. Keene said. “So, backup, why are you so traumatized? It’s what you do, it’s natural, you’re supposed to be a stud, right?”
“I don’t know anything about being a stud, but it was just weird,” Lord Elmer said. He shook and neighed. “For one thing, the room was padded, ugly puke green padding everywhere, on all the walls, like we’re going to wrestle, as if, and not much hay, very spartan interior, almost clinical.”
“Well, I’ve heard,” Dr. Keene said. He shrugged.
“Worst of all,” Lord Elmer said. He wept and blew his nose, his lispy, gravely voice sounded low. “We were not alone, all these humans were watching, I noticed some above us, behind a huge glass window, filming us, like some sick horse porn – humiliating. Likely all over ThoroubredPlaythings.com, and I’m sure I’m a sensation, it’s about genetics you know.
“Yes, yes … of course,” Dr. Keene said. He clenched his beak and chuckled.
“A couple of them – I can barely remember now – had long plastic gloves on, that’s when I knew trouble, with a capital T, was about to happen. Then the touching, yanking, pulling, tugging, I was not in the mood, but they changed that!”
“Oh dear, I’ve heard,” Dr. Keene said. He shrugged his feathers.
“And next thing I know, my front legs are up in the air, and I’m totally exposed. I sort of shook my hooves, you know, jazz hands style. I just kept looking forward, I smirked at the camera, I told myself to breathe and that it will all be over with soon. And you know, by the way, they didn’t even think to introduce us, or allow me to take her out to pasture; you know, get to know each other –
“Sorry, these folks sometimes forget you have feelings,” Dr. Keene said.
“And I’ll never forget all the lubricants, like I was a machine or something– the horror. Wham-bang, no thank you Lord Elmer … I expected them to say – NEXT!”
“I … see,” Dr. Keene said. He laughed and coughed to clear his feathered throat.
“I’ll never do that again, I won’t do it, never again, I’m bigger than them,” Lord Elmer said. He heaved in a deep breath of Kentucky sunshine. “I feel so used, all they wanted was my magic seed, as Jimmie said, I guess he was trying to warn me. He said it’s the rules, keep us from over populating – as if.”
Dr. Keene puckered his beak, fluttered his wings and hopped down to the fence line near Lord Elmer’s powerful shoulders.
“Okay, I think I can solve your problem,” Dr. Keene said.
“Oh, thank god,” Lord Elmer said. “Help this memory go away…”
“Well, I have one word for you to remember, okay?” Dr. Keene said. “But, I should explain a few things first.”
“Oh, it’s that simple?” Lord Elmer asked.
“Yes, it will be crystal clear for you, remember this word each time you go to that barn,” Dr. Keene said, “okay?”
“Absolutely,” Lord Elmer said. “But, I’ll never go back there, no matter what.”
“Okay, I think you’ll want to reconsider, but for now, I want you to shut your eyes, listen to me carefully,” Dr. Keene said.
“All right,” Lord Elmer said.
“You should know, I’m an owl, I’m not paid to provide my talk therapy services,” Dr. Keene said.
“What?” Lord Elmer said.
“It’s true, my family and I live on the farm, as long as we hunt for rodents at night,” Dr. Keene said. “It’s how I feed my family, and earn my spot here on the farm. Talk therapy is just daytime work, and an extra benefit to help keep the farm profitable.”
“But, you’re a doctor?” Lord Elmer said. He huffed.
“Yes, went to all the best Owl universities,” Dr. Keene said. He hooted and shrugged. “But, you should realize the big girl over there that you impregnated will spend the next 11 months of her life allowing her body to create a foal – colt or filly, to be determined. That’s one of the ways they make money. Understood?”
“Yes,” Lord Elmer said. “I have a bad feeling now …”
“My point, this farm needs seeds to grow its product, not corn or soybean, but seed from a thoroughbred, the better the track record, at least at first, the better the stud fee, understood?” Dr. Keene asked.
“Oh, you can’t mean?” Lord Elmer said. He snorted and dipped his head down and scratched at the turf.
“Yes, someone paid a significant fee for you to impregnate that big girl over there,” Dr. Keene said. He shrugged.
“I feel so cheap, so used,” Lord Elmer said. “I simply refuse to allow that to happen again.”
“I think you should realize, your seed helps to keep the farm operating,” Dr. Keene said. He shrugged and twisted his beak. “So, back to that word that will help you.”
“Ah, yes, yes, I’m totally troubled,” Lord Elmer said.
“Now, listen real careful – if you ever read Animal Farm – well, just think about this word,” Dr. Keene said. “GLUE, let me spell it out for you, G-L-U-E.”
Lord Elmer stood stiff and still for several minutes as if a granite statue of Man-O-War. He kept his eyes shut and he barely breathed. His snout flared, his mouth slightly gapped open to reveal his bottom teeth. His dry, pinkish tongue was panting forward like a bubble gum blanket floating in a brisk breeze.
“Did you hear me?” Dr. Keene said.
“Yes … yes I did,” Lord Elmer said. His breathing was erratic, as if about to drown from diving to deep into the ocean.
“Do you have a new perspective?” Dr. Keene asked.
Lord Elmer shook his head and huffed. He shyly grinned over at Dr. Keene. He nickered, and shook his head in agreement. He smirked.
“Well, you know,” Lord Elmer said. He scratched at the turf as he sheepishly preened for Dr. Keene. “You do know I’m part Arabian and my mother English? I’ve mysterious purebred DNA.”
“What’s that,” Dr. Keene said.
“They do say, I’m – 17 hands of hot deliciousness,” Lord Elmer said. “And, well, I’m rather gifted underneath my tail.”
“Now, that’s the spirit,” Dr. Keene said.
“I guess, I didn’t really appreciate my purpose, until … until now,” Lord Elmer said. “Thank you Dr. Keene.” And he galloped toward his stall to prepare to get to work.
And from that day forward, Lord Elmer lived a happy life, he bravely sired, and sired and sired. He was lucky in racing and in life, he was never shipped off to foreign lands to breed, they brought all the girls to him, three or four times a day. And his offspring raced just under lightspeed, and they won race after race, until one day, one of his progeny won the Kentucky Derby. Upon hearing the news, Lord Elmer instantly died – a smile across his long face. Then, they buried him whole. All because of a wise old owl, great DNA, and the word – GLUE.