This is the last post about Barbaro, I promise. Yesterday, it was reported that television stations actually broke into regular programming, BREAKING NEWS, to report the death of a horse. Even more mind boggling was the follow-up report I saw on one of my local stations this morning, in which the graphic read Heroic Horse.
Wait just a god damn minute.
Fast? I get.
Majestic? Yeah, why not.
Webster's defines 'hero" as follows:
Main Entry: he·ro
Inflected Form(s): plural heroes
Etymology: Latin heros, from Greek hErOs
1 a : a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b : an illustrious warrior c : a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d : one that shows great courage
2 a : the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work b : the central figure in an event, period, or movement
3 plural usually heros : SUBMARINE 2
4 : an object of extreme admiration and devotion : IDOL
Once again, I need to emphasize, Barbaro was an effing horse. Was he a myhological figure? Nope. An illustrious warrior? Not really. A principal male literary character? Maybe in some senior citizen fan fiction, but in reality, no. Did he show great courage? I don't think so. He didn't decide on his own that his leg should be filled with pins to keep it together. He didn't vailiantly keep a stiff upper lip while the doctors gave him their grave diagnosis. He didn't think to himself how he could inspire others who face hardships to keep going on. He didn't think, period. He's a horse, or, was a horse.
My guess is that he felt a ton of pain in his leg, and wished for the sweet release only death could bring. Who the hell knows? To call him a "hero" is an insult to real human heroes one could encounter on a daily basis. So, to all you crazy ass people who feel the need to post a thank you note to a horse, listen up:
A firefighter who goes into a burning building to rescue a kid or an elderly person? Hero.
A soldier who dives on a live grenade to save his buddies? Hero.
A black woman who won't give up her seat to a white guy on a bus in Alabama in 1955? Yep, hero.
A horse who shatters his leg while running in a race to make rich guys more money, then is forced to undergo various medical procedures in an effort to keep himself alive so he can maybe someday produce twenty or thirty colts who might inherit his one ability, running really fast, which in turn will make more money for said rich guys?
Not a hero.