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Respect for your ancestors comes from respecting others


Sleeping inside a disembollowed horse in the First Franco-Prussian war was not my great x8 grandfathers idea of a birthday.

Retreating from Moscow with Napoleon’s icy temper in one hand, and a frozen flask in the other, my grandfather could only dream of collapsing into the warmth of the love that circulated in his only house, with his only child. With a snap and crack, the sky shattered and split into an infinite pouring of tiny glass pieces. Sprinkling down, they sliced and diced the troops. Tiny pieces created tinier pieces. People’s hopes turned to tiny pieces. My grandfather, swift in his hand but questionable in the brain, felt the cold was going to turn him cold, but for infinity instead. In the heat of the moment, he prised open his tin of rolled oats, and dug in to find his spoon. It immediately clung to his hand, and wouldn’t let go, for the spoon knew what it’s true destiny was to be. My grandfather looked at the frozen mass of bodies clumped in the snow around him, and decided that big would be better. Trudging and crunching through the snow, he approached a lonely horse, dying ungracefully, a disgraceful show. With a raise of his hand and a lowering of his soul, he dug into the horse’s putrefying belly, and didn’t disrupt his flow. Scooping out the whole horse, he made that his home for the next two weeks.

201 years later, it’s my mother’s birthday. Cutting the cake and singing the songs, we celebrate what it means to be a two. Parents and children. We go into our garden, and cross the mossy bank to the woodland over the stretching hill. Arriving with a batch of Calville Blanc Apples and rolled oats, we lean over the panelled fence and feeds the grazing horses. Eating away, little did they know what their ancestors did for my ancestors.


Respect for your ancestors comes from respecting others

This post was written by Guy Bennett

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