New Book from Dances With Wolves Author
Title : Twelve: The King
Author: Michael Blake
Publisher: Perceval Press (Santa Monica, Calif.)
Price: $14 softcover
"I encountered an animal whose being was saturated with evidence that the Mystery's spirit was on earth." MICHAEL BLAKE
During the mid-1800s, more than two million wild horses freely roamed America's west. But, cattle ranchers--who had already seized land from the Indians and were in a land war with farmers and shepherds--saw horses as competition for unfenced grazing land. Aided by corporate interests and an unconcerned public, ranchers poisoned the water holes, shot the horses, or ran them over cliffs. It was legal.
During the remainder of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries, millions would be killed or sent to slaughter houses in Mexico to become dog food--or gourmet meats to be served in the finer European restaurants.
A national campaign begun in the 1950s by Velma Johnston led Congress and the Nixon Administration in 1971 to give protection to the remaining horses and burros. By then, there were only about 60,000 left in 10 states. Three decades later, under the George W. Bush Administration, the Bureau of Land Management determined that even those wild horses and burros were too many. Congress and the Administration, still influenced by corporate interests, repealed most of the 1971 law. Apparently, the remaining 20,000 horses were taking up too much space and resources from the four million head of cattle. The BLM plan was to round up the "excess horses" and place them in federal corrals.
But, where the BLM placed the horses wasn't corrals but concentration camps, according to Michael Blake, author of Dances With Wolves. Blake's latest book, Twelve: The King, is a moving story of his love for wild horses, especially one, a black gelding with the number "1202" branded onto his left flank. Blake describes the first time he saw Twelve:
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