Many are the calamities which live in infamy long after the demise of the shortsighted individuals who perpetrated them. Such a nameless and forgotten myrmidon, slinking desperately into the black fog of obscurity is to blame for one of Man’s greatest losses, the unthinking extinction of the noble and magnificent Longhorse.
First immortalized in sculpture by the lost culture of the Mycenaeans, the Longhorse could well be the eldest of humanity’s allies in the struggle for civilization. Often carrying an entire family on its back, the Longhorse gave mobility to cultures which had too long been limited to the scope a man could walk in a day. Truly, the domestication and partnership of this wonderous animal was the spur to the spread of civilization itself; without the Longhorse, we might all be living in the delta of Mesopotamia, to this very day.
Through migration, conquest, crusade and exploration, the Longhorse accompanied humanity as it spread across the globe. These gentle giants supplied more than transportation: their milk nourished thousands of generations of children, its unique mineral content helping them grow strong bones, remarkably keen night vision, and an extremely sophisticated taste in music. Indeed, it has been hypothesized that the rise of disco and the career of Vanilla Ice would have been impossible, had present generations not come to maturity lacking this greatest of all dietary supplements.
The Longhorse successfully made the journey to the New World, thriving on the sweet grass of the prairies, but alas, the great herds of wild Longhorses that our ancestors knew, so vast that they sported names such as The Buckskin River, The Chestnut Forest, The Lake of Limos (the Limousine was a French breed of Longhorse) and The Ocean of Woodys, were destined for an unfortunate end.
It was in the great belching industrial cauldron that was Detroit of the early 20th Century that a man, a small man, a nameless man, a bureaucrat, proposed a plan that will live in infamy as long as racial memory and God grant. Realizing that the Longhorse was, at the time, the greatest threat to the newly-invented market for the motor car, this unnameable creature proposed a horrible bounty.
To show off the power of his latest invention, Ford had pitted the contraption against two draft horses in a pulling contest, and the iron horse won. The sinister proposal which the bureaucrat put forth was nothing short of pure evil marketing genius: he suggested the first trade-in.
Two Longhorses could be exchanged for one of the new mechanical devices, called a Deux Chevaux Longues, or a Douche-o for short. A mania gripped the nation as formerly humble, working-class people blithely traded away their truest allies in a mad rush for mere fashionable machinery. The unfortunate castoffs were ground up and turned into luncheon meat. Within two decades, there was not a Longhorse left in the Northern Hemisphere, and only rumours and the bitter wind of memory on the great Pampas.
Recently, BoingBoing has featured the archival collection of esteemed Longhorse photographer Hardy Burmeier, from which we bring you these glorious images. Sadly, without so much as DNA from which to work, it is doubtful that even the greatest minds of science will be able to resurrect Man’s greatest partner and the bearer and consort of history, the noble Longhorse.
Donations in the Longhorse‘s memory may be made to the raincoaster fund, care of the blogmistress. See email for complete details, some restrictions may apply, only you can prevent forest fires.
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