How do we wrap our heads around the crazy actions of truly twisted individuals? Sure, it takes all kinds to make the world go ‘round but sometimes people go well beyond the pale. Recent case in point – some joker took the ears off a hungry horse.
To be precise, they removed the ears off THE Hungry Horse statue that resides in Hungry Horse, Montana (near Glacier National Park). The cement statue has been a community fixture since the 1950’s, a symbol of local history and a generational rite of passage for valley kids posing for photos astride the little red horse.
The Hungry Horse design was created by Blake Morris, a former Highway Patrol officer who whittled the town’s mascot in the 1940’s. The concrete statue was made in 1955 and stood in front of the Hungry Horse Corral gift shop for decades. In 1982 Irene and Vaughn Shafer retired and bought the rights to the Hungry Horse design as well as the gift shop. After Vaughn passed away, the statue was donated to the town and moved to the county park in 2013.
Craig Shafer, Vaughn and Irene’s son, volunteered to repair the damaged statue. New ears will be formed with metal dowels, chicken wire and concrete. Having grown up with the little red statue, Shafer felt a particular affinity for the damaged horse.
“I’m spiritually invested in that horse,” explained Shafer.
Next time you’re visiting Glacier National Park and find yourself driving down U.S. Highway 2, be sure to stop and take a selfie astride the Hungry Horse. But don’t go after dark, that ear stealing sicko has never been caught. If you see someone lurking in the parking lot hammer in one hand and dragging a heavy plastic bag – KEEP DRIVING!
The Legend of Hungry Horse
During the severe winter of 1900, two draft horses, Jerry and Tex, owned by Montana logging pioneers wandered away from their logging sled. They survived the harsh weather, belly deep in snow for a month when loggers found them. The loggers nicknamed the gaunt animals the Mighty Hungry Horses and nursed them back to health. Later, Jerry pulled a fire wagon in Kalispell and Tex made deliveries for the Kalispell Mercantile Company. In their honor of their harrowing adventure the name “Hungry Horse” was given to the local damn, a mountain, lake, creek and town in Montana.
p.s. the real horse featured in this post is my foster, Rhoda. She was rescued from truly horrific circumstances but don’t worry. She has both ears and a happy life now. This photo is a fluke snapped while I was playing with my iphone. It was not retouched, the phone just took a wonky photo that coincidentally worked well for this post.