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Thursday, February 14, 2013

jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule.

"You ever wondered what would've happened if they hadn't killed Christ for our sins?" she asked."I mean,if instead they'd just dragged Him out back and slapped Him around some?"



Hey! My late Dad was born on a Valentine's  Day!
But the two big stories in my world this week have been the resignation of the Pope & Police raids at an abattoir in Todmorden (just 3 miles from where I live).Horse meat has been found in burgers sold as "beef".{read:}
You might think these two events are unconnected.Well,not in MY World!First off....being of Polish extraction (50% traces have been found.....),the younger gentle author always wanted to be the Pope when he grew up.Everytime the phone has rung this week ,I suspect it's the Vatican making an offer I cant refuse..... ( I will keep you all posted on any developments.)
The horse meat scandal also brought to mind a great confusion I always had as a child regarding this business of The Eucharist.I mean! 'Eating The Body of Christ'What is that all about? As a kid I worried if it were Kosher?

This week's Sepia Saturday theme seems to me about uniforms  & pets.

As a child my family only ever had cats (& not a lot of photos of them).So the net goes wider this week..........
Wikipedia:Wojtek (solider bear)
Wojtek (1942–1963) was a Syrian brown bear cub found in Iran and adopted by soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish 11 Corp. During the Battle of Monte Cassino Wojtek helped move ammunition. The name "Wojtek" is the diminutive form of an old Slavic name that is still common in Poland today and means "he who enjoys war" or "smiling warrior".[

To get him on a British transport ship when the unit sailed from Egypt to fight with the British 8th Army in the Italian campaign, he was officially drafted into the Polish Army as a private and was listed among the soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps

As one of the officially enlisted "soldiers" of the company, he lived with the other men in their tents or in a special wooden crate, which was transported by truck. According to numerous accounts, during the Battle of Monte Cassino , Wojtek helped his friends by transporting ammunition – never dropping a single crate. In recognition of the bear's popularity, the HQ approved an effigy of a bear holding an artillery shell as the official emblem of the 22nd Company (by then renamed to 22nd Transport Company).

Bob Dylan - Shooting Star


As well as the gentle art of warfare ,the Polish troops taught Wojtek to drink beer and smoke cigarettes.
After the War,both my Dad (who had been in The Polish Airforce) & Wojtek demobbed in Scotland.My Dad moved to Halifax.Wojtek to Edinburgh Zoo.
Worjtek died in 1963.As a child we had our summer holidays with family in Edinburgh.I went to the Zoo several times.Me & Wojtek must have stared at each other through the bars at some point!

( if your ever in Grimsby,Lincolnshire they put a carving of him  in a local park)
Should I become Pontif,my first order would be to send the priests of England out to bless all our horses.That way,at a stroke, we would turn a "food crisis" into a religious experience!Sorted!
Neil Young - A Horse With no Name

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27 comments:

Brian Miller said...

teaching a bear to drink beer and smoke sounds counter productive to rationing...ha...

it does not surprise me on the horse...and if you make Pope we need a talk cause i need a get out of jail card...ha...

Roy said...

Hmmmmm... Now I have three friends considering a run on the Popemobile! This is going to be an interesting conclave.

Peter said...

It is very nice that you will keep us posted on Vatican developments but the latest I read is that a gentleman from Ghana seems to be in the lead. I studied your picture and I don't think we'll hear from you (in this respect).
BTW I never heard about bears being indigenous animals in Syria??

tony said...

Peter! the chap from Ghana is rival,it's true!+I looked on wikipedia and found this regarding Syrian Bears.Probably not many of them (due to their fondness for Vodka & Nicotine?)

Teresa Evangeline said...

I. Love This. Post. The world would benefit greatly from you being named Pontiff, which is exactly why I would relax around that phone ringing thing. In my world, you are Pontiff of the highest order, a little bit crazy and a whole lot more interesting than that crew they've had.

Kurt said...

I had a horse burger in Slovenia. It was good. They also had pony steaks, but they were too dear.

tony said...

Bless You Evangeline.Benedìcat vos omnipotens Deus as they say in Todmorden.
Kurt.My Doctor told me to "Watch What You Eat".So I'm off to the Horse Races next week!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Tony, this is totally amazing! I have never heard of Wojtek before. I enjoyed the video and learning about him and his war buddies.

Best of luck on becoming the new Pope. Happy Birthday to your Dad; I'm sure that he is looking down, smiling and happy that you want to be the Pope.

Have a great weekend,

Kathy M.

Postcardy said...

What an amazing bear!

Rick Watson said...

I didn't see a follow widget on your blog. I would follow your posts if you had one.

Jill Hodgson said...

Happy birthday to your dad. Oh dear.... whatever did they find in Tod? Vegan options looking good for August right now,
I left my tonsils in Edinburgh hospital age 4. I assume they're still there ok suitably preserved. Hope Wojitek was allowed to keep up with his vices at the zoo. I expect I saw him too.
Great post!

Boobook said...

Why do soldiers need a mascot animal? When did that tradition start and do they still do it?

Mike Brubaker said...

A post of perfection, Tony, with just the right spin on the theme!

The celebrated dancing bears were probably Syrian bears like Wojtek, and the instruments that usually played the dance tunes were bagpipes. There's a movement in a symphony by Josef Haydn, nicknamed "The Bear" that mimics the drones.

tony said...

Jill . I read that Wojtek used to beg cigarettes through the bars..& often people (including fellow ex-servicemen) would throw lighted ciggies into his pen for him to pick and smoke!
Hi Rick,I had various mysterious problems when I last had a 'follow-widget' here.But,as a compromise, I have put in the sidebar, an email notification system.I hope that is an adequate compromise (i only post 1 or 2 times per week, so you shouldnt be inundated too much!)

Akelamalu said...

I've heard of War Horse but never War Bear - fascinating!

Good luck with your quest to become Pope. ;)

Bob Scotney said...

You have excelled yourself this week, Tony. Readin about and watching Wojtek was fascinating. What an animal!

Little Nell said...

I'm suprise Your Holiness has time to visit the races! The brown bear story is new to me so thank you for putting it on here, and to Mike for adding more information in the way only he can.

barbara and nancy said...

Oh, that was a fun post. Instead of a turtle we get a bear. Unbelievable story. Loved the Youtube version including the music.
Tony as Pope? It's a good thing.
Nancy

Wendy said...

Pope Tony, hmm. While I contemplate all those implications, I need to replay Neil Young.

Brett Payne said...

Don't you think one Polish pope every hundred years or so is enough? If it does happen, I think you'll have to be Pope Antek, though.

That photo of the Polish bear mascot reminds me of "Winnie" the Canadian black bear who became the unnoficial Fort Garry Horse (with which my grandfather served) regimental mascot, ending up in London Zoo where she was the inspiration for "Winnie the Pooh."

tony said...

Ah Brett,but the first Yorkshire Pope........... !

Mike Burnett said...

Lovely little story. I wonder why we've never seen it before given the TV love of war documentaries.

tony said...

APOLOGIES THE THE FOLLOWING 3 PEOPLE WHOSE COMMENTS I JUST ACCIDENTLY DELETED.APOLOGIES.WHAT A LEMON I AM~~~~~~!
ALAN="I just love the story of the bear, it somehow adds to the bizarre nature of war to have a bear carrying your ammunition for you. And I have to say, as a lifelong atheist, if you become the next Pope I will join the church the next day. You could hold weekly audiences at the Big Six. "
HAZEL CEEJ ="I wonder if Wojtek missed beer and cigarettes when he retired in Edinburgh Zoo. "
TITANIA="
A bit of satire is like the daily bread.What a life for a bear, transporting ammunition...tztzt.
"

Kristin said...

I'm happy to hear that people hand Wojteck cigarettes and he didn't tear their arms off and that they also threw lit cigarettes into his cage so he wouldn't have nicotene withdrawals. What a life for a bear, hauling ammunition for a warlike species and smoking in his cage.

Good luck on becoming Pope!

TICKLEBEAR said...

Ironic, isn't it, that while Europe got liberated, the bear ended in captivity behind bar, when it would surely have preferred hanging at the local bar with his ol' buddies...

As long as it got its nicotine fix, I guess it was alright...

I was put in captivity at the hospital when I was sick, in case it was influenza, and after 12 hours, I asked for my release as I could well keep myself in isolation at home, because I needed to smoke...
;)~
HUGZ

tony said...

and The drink! you would have thought they could have put some Optics inside the cage so he could have helped himself to a Wee Dram...!

TICKLEBEAR said...

Somehow, I prefer thinking of a Guinness truck stopping by to drop a barrel in his cage, weekly!!
:D~
HUGZ