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Guernsey Literary Festival

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Guernsey Arts

When the Knacker Man Visits the Barn

he’s polite, says please bear with me as he heaves our dead pony onto his cart. He doesn’t mind picking out bullets, setting cracked knees, getting blood on his white cottons. His aim is to make the dead look good as they depart. He wants them to go naturally. As he leaves, we see our pony’s eyes shining like rock pools, her hooves tucked neatly away. We shout goodbye! and no one retches. We shout goodbye! and remind ourselves that death is not the end for her. We know that ponies can do anything, can become anything: a lily, a leather jacket, a new book, a sleek and carnivorous mink.