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To Baron 

14 Feb

I lost someone a few weeks ago. Not a friend, not famiily, but still someone special to me.
They do say that art touches us. There’s one piece of art that will live with me forever. I was privileged enough to work at the The Kelpies.Now The Kelpies represent two things. The folklore of the shape-shifting water horse. -the spirit of dark, lonely water – and the equally fascinating but more prosaic working Clydesdale horses, who pulled heavily-laden barges along the Forth & Clyde Canal.
In great artistic tradition, the sculptor Andy Scott portrayed one of his horses – mythical or otherwise – as calm and biddable,the other as spirited and free. So we have: Head Down Kelpie, as the on-site poem by Jim Carruth says ,  bends down his ‘strong head to taste the water;’ and Head Up Kelpie – full of the joy of living, springing out of the water, perhaps a fairy taking on an horse’s shape, he who stretches ‘up his long neck to face the sun.’
Now we Kelpie Guides found the formal names a wee bit impersonal. So to us, and to every visitor who took our tours, our Kelpies were not ‘Head Down’and ‘Head Up’but simply Duke and Baron – named for the two horses who were Andy’s muses. 
Now many people think that Baron – the Head Up Kelpie – is angry or afraid. I don’t see him that way. I think he is full of energy, relishing the feeling of the weather on his face.
I met lovely Duke. He  is now retired but at that time lived at Pollock Country Park in Glasgow, where he did such arduous tasks as being petted by children who visited the stables.He placidly stood there while a bunch of over-excited Kelpie Guides crowded around him getting our photo taken and giving him cuddles. I never met Baron. He had already retired and been re-homed by that time. However, I used to enjoy looking at photos of both horses, and chatting about them with their groom, who liked to visit. In almost every photo, Duke had his head down and was peaceably going about his business. Baron’s head would be up, and he had a wee cheeky glint in the eye. The groom once told me that he was an exceptionally good-natured, kind, happy horse. She was glad that I was telling visitors that he wasn’t angry. Baron, she said, did not have a vicious bone in his body.I loved Duke, but I fell in love with Baron. 
Baron died, aged 19, at the end of January. He never knew how loved he was by many. But loved he is, and will be for as long as The Kelpies stand.Duke and Baron have given us a special gift. Thank you Baron. Rest in Peace, with love from a Kelpie Guide. 

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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