Sunday, 16 July 2017


Dear Reader,

Suffolk Punch horses

I thought this was an interesting story and hope you do too.   Apparently for hundreds of years the Suffolk Punch horse has been used by farmers to till fields across the country.  But now Britain's oldest native breed is on the edge of extinction, because not enough females are being reared.  According to recent figures published by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, just 33 fillies were born between 2014-16, which is nearly half the number of males reared during the same period.  Nigel Oakley, a Suffolk Punch breeder said, 'that certain stallions with the "propensity' to produce male offspring might have to be 'held back' so that others with a track record of producing females have more opportunity. "These numbers do not bode well for the breed - this is our heritage", he added "Once they are lost they are gone forever and our grandchildren's children may never see them".  Years ago, living in the New Forest,  I knew a man who bred these beautiful horses, took them to shows, spent hours brushing them and then getting them to look glossy, fat, healthy and fit, but sadly I heard he is no longer with us and nor are his magnificent horses.



The day she left
her heart hammered
tears streamed down her cheeks

the rain beat against the car windows
an east wind blew
the road was black ribbons.

She took a small suitcase.
It held a red skirt, two shirts, underclothes,
two cardigans, a duffle coat
and three favourite books.

After twenty years of marriage
those were her spoils.

Oh, and the kettle.


With best wishes, Patricia

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would be a terrible shame for the Suffolk Punch to die out and do hope efforts will be made to keep the breed going.
Your poem this week is a real hard-hitter. As usual you manage to tell us so much in a few short lines and our imaginations run-riot. I am very glad your character remembered to take the kettle! Absolutely essential for survival! xx