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WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: The Humblest Gift

Katie Andraski

Glory be to God for poop. After a forty-degree temperature change and full water buckets, across two days, I was relieved to see big piles of manure in the mares’ wet, dirty stalls. I was relieved to see buckets drained and bright eyes and soft hellos, sounding like huh, huh, huh, with a flittering of their noses, greeting me. 



We call this weather colic weather because low pressure and wide swings in temperature can make horses sick. Horses are fragile creatures. They can’t vomit, so when they get a belly ache they can die. Two years ago, Tessie’s constipation pushed her spleen in the wrong place. She almost died. 


When I walked out to do final chores, Morgen was not at the back door like normal. The mares were quiet -- too quiet. I bedded their stalls, threw down their hay and walked out. Morgen stood by the front of the barn. Where was Tessie? She was stretched flat on the ag lime. In the dark of night. Had she died? (Horses can’t lie flat out for very long without suffocating.) I called her to get up. She heaved and stood. She was colicking. The vet said to medicate her and not feed her. 


The next morning, I thanked God for those piles in her stall. Poop, poo, crap, manure, dung, excrement, as humble as it is, is one of God’s great gifts, not just in horses, not just as fertilizer, but for all God’s creatures, including us. 


I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective. 

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