The News From Here

Our Quest #43 April 15, 2003

an occasional newsletter for Davenport enthusiasts

page 2 - Bertha Craver, Poetry Corner


(Whatever year you want)

We love getting Christmas cards at Craver Farms. We are sorry to admit that we just do not send them. Instead we send this annual newsletter. We hope it brings good cheer to our friends and draws our Davenport comrades a little closer to each other through celebration of our common project.

This newsletter was written to be appropriate for Christmas, but time has gotten away, so we are switching it to Easter greetings. (If that fails, we will designate the 4th of July).

Whatever the event, we think about the best of the past. We confess that our thoughts are with the future, too, which we see as a time when the wisdom of the past is terribly needed.

As this is written, the beautiful sentiments of the season are appropriate. At Craver Farms, our record for getting mail off for timely arrival is not perfect. Whenever your issue of this newsletter is received, we wish you a happy holiday.


Bertha Johnstone Craver was not a Davenport breeder, and she really did not know much about horses. She was a wonderful hostess for Craver Farms and through personal effort and other support was an essential part of the re-establishment of Davenport horses as a recognized breeding group. She died September 10, 2002, just nine days short of her 100th year. She would have been a child of four years age at the time of Davenport's trip to Arabia to import ancestors of the horses to which she contributed vital help.

In the ARAB INC newsletter of April 25, l977, she wrote this commentary about being part of the loyal support team for showing an Arabian horse: "We are 'The Cheering Squad'. What does a Cheering Squad do? (1) Run, Like mad, to the secretary's office to enter your horse when the trailer arrives a split second before the class. (2) Carry a 'Possible bag" (Explanation: A bag so named carries everything possible in it.) Tuck in an extra brush, a bottle of Vicks, a damp rag, a dry rag, a pint thermos jug filled with water, safety pins, rubber bands. (3) Force yourself when the class is on to not just watch THE ENTRY, but to also see what other horses are doing. This takes MIGHTY concentration and years of practice ... harder than YOGA. (4) If THE ENTRY is awarded a ribbon, try not to whoop and holler. If a mighty squeak comes out, pretend you dropped something on the floor. Duck down to search for it until you master the impulse to let it out.(5) Resist the impulse to tell the Judge to sit on a tack. There's no point to it. (6) We thank our Lucky Star, that, as we have walked this earth, we have had the unique privilege to 'enjoy the sport of Kings.' Life has not been dull, but rich with experience."


Our contest of poetic double dactyls is suspended for this issue of Our Quest to permit publication of a new format of the poetic measure in which multiple rhymes on the same syllable are used in each stanza. This is a literary tour de force which is possible only by virtue of the extraordinary verbal facility of the dedicated poetesses furnishing work product for this newsletter. To our knowledge no other contemporary publication has had good enough material submited to attempt this type of publication. We feel it is also appropriate to mention that innovative publication such as this requires requires a sureness of literary taste which is too seldom seen in the print media.

Elisabeth Roman writes:

From out of the waste, where the dervish wind blows

Comes an unknown Bedu of weary pose.

Though his robes be faded, by his mount he shows

The wealth and wisdom only a horseman knows,

A dappled mare such as Mohammed chose-

Mowardieh, the desert rose.

(In commentary on this poem, Ms. Roman writes: "Take it from me; when you have to find six words that all rhyme, make sense in the sentence, and have something to do with the story you're trying to tell, you come slam up against the limits of your vocabulary very fast!")


From Kirby Drennan, we have social commentary concerning one of the horse people in the central Illinois region. This person is a bit of a smart aleck who is too vocal in telling other people how to ride their own horses. Got his come-uppance in a horse fall.


At times like this it's rude to joke
It's rude to laugh, it's rude to poke
Fun at one whose leg is broke,


This time dactyls just won't do
Since ignoring the last one done for you.
You didn't follow numbers one or two.

So, this is lesson number three
We'll make it simple so you'll see
That rules are made to shelter thee.

STAY ON TOP was number one
Your proclamation was not done.
The punishment will be no fun.

The next one, also not in force
And by now causing you remorse

It feels we just cannot proceed
To lessons harder than you need
Till on these first ones you succeed.

So, number three is just for you
It's simply direct and easy to do.


Back to Our Quest #43 Introduction

to page 3 - West Nile Virus, Davenports in Endurance

to page 4 - 2002 Al Khamsa Convention, Conservancy Meeting

to page 5 - Davenport Projects

to page 6 - Skull-duggery

Back to Main News Page