Hans In Luck

Cliff the Horse’s Personal Address – remarks as delivered. The Paradise Horse Club hosted the Equine Welfare Conference at Bishop Burton College on Saturday the 18th.


I’d like to thank my dear friend Mr. Berkshire for giving me this opportunity to speak tonight. I know that many of you are wondering when tea service will start, there seems to be a small problem in the kitchen, but I’ve been assured that everything will be up and running again shortly. Ah a question! Yes…

Audience Member: Unintelligible

Yes there are biscuits, it’s going to start in just a few moments, I just mentioned that. Yes next up is the roundtable with our special guests, the dzungarian horse family. Thank you, thank you for your question.

Let’s move on.

Again, I’m Cliff the horse. I come before you today to redress the serious mischaracterizations of both my character and my abilities as a show pony lately perpetuated by one Hans “Lucky” Hofferfingle.  As you well know, Mr. Hofferfingle has, in recent weeks, taken to the press— publishing scandalous tales surreptitiously under the protection of two well known authors—in an attempt to brand me unrideable and sully my reputation. My friends I stand before you today as a horse falsely accused and fiercely wronged. These allegations are as outrageous as they are offensive, and if you will grant me just a few moments of your time I mean to demonstrate, in no uncertain terms, not only my innocence but my continued viability as a working horse.

Let me start by reviewing the allegations against me.  Undoubtedly, you all know the story. I’ll keep my retelling short.

Hans Hofferfingle claims that on May 25th he met my owner, Mr. Dillespy, and me on the side of the road. He was at this point burdened with a large piece of gold, which he claims obstructed his view (as he was carrying it on his shoulder), causing him to collide with me and strike my hindquarters at a quick pace.  He then contends that Mr. Dillespy examined me, found me impaired, and demanded Mr. Hofferfingle’s gold piece as payment for his recklessness. After a brief discussion of terms Mr. Hofferfingle was awarded yours truly and Mr. Dillespy left with his gold. Mr. Hofferfingle then alleges that I, feeling slighted and ill-tempered, bucked him off as he attempted to ride me home.


On May 25th Mr. Hofferfingle did indeed meet Mr. Dillespy and me on the side of the road. Hans was carrying a large piece of gold. I remember he was whining loudly and whimpering a little. He offered to trade his piece of gold for my services as an exceptional show pony. A negotiation ensued, and I agreed to take on some minor transportation and agricultural work for Mr. Hofferfingle as well.

Throughout this time Mr. Hofferfingle was enumerating in loud, animated tones the many and varied ways that I, as a horse, would be more beneficial to him than a heavy piece of gold. He noted, among other things, that he would move quickly and comfortably on the back of a horse, and that his shoes would avoid the ravages of the open road. I must say I was impressed by his reasoning. So although I was sad to see Mr. Dillespy go, I was heartened by the great enthusiasm and slight weight of my new owner. We all know Dillespy enjoys his game pie. I’m just kidding! I saw you back there, why do you think I looked right at you?  You look great Mr. Dillespy, really…rosy. No, ok, I’ll catch up with you later, save me some of that beet salad.

Now friends, I’m not philosopher, but I’ll admit I dabble. I consider myself a self-taught scholar of sorts. As a working schmuck I’ve spent some time picking through some of Marx’s work, found it pretty interesting too. So when Mr. Hofferfingle came along talking about trading a sizeable gold nugget for a horse, well I thought I had found a like-minded fellow. This man was so disgusted by commodity, by the accumulation of capital that he was choosing to forgo exchange-value and live his life prioritizing use-value.

Needless to say I got pretty excited. And by the way Hans was shouting and waving his arms I just assumed that we were two revolutionaries setting off to assemble the proletariat masses. So, that’s when Mr. Hofferfingle fell out of the saddle and onto the ground. We were just too excited!  No mal-intent. No sir, none at all.

Turns out Hans didn’t see it that way; he dropped me faster than a sole on a pawing mare.

A couple of weeks later I explained all of this to Mr. Hofferfingle when he stopped by Mr. Berkshire’s.  I’ll tell you it was like a little light went off in his head. That’s when all this foolishness started—my new owner let me go when Hans started making up all kinds of stories, claiming he got a bum deal and that his gold piece was fraudulently taken. He says I was hurt all along, and that Mr. Dillespy violated some implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose by failing to disclose my (imaginary) condition.

It’s plain to see what’s happening here. I’m fine, fit as a fiddle, and I’m ready to work.  Mr. Hofferfingle’s allegations are unfounded, his timing painfully transparent.  I’m right over at Berkshire’s Boarding Stables, stable number 3.  Give me a call! I’ve quit the hard stuff—I’m not reading anything more radical than Reader’s Digest. Honestly, everyone, such a treat to see you all, enjoy your evening. Oh, here’s the tea!