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Epizootic (Oct. 10, 1872) Almost forgotten but not lost to history the City saw a time when horses said "Enough!" and went on strike. They lived in damp and reeking stables, underfed and overworked, sliding underhoof on polished cobblestones, on ice in winters watering too distant in sweltering heat. Too often beaten and abused, these beasts were burdened without mercy, yearning for a patch of grass, a shading tree, a load to haul less cruel. Came 1872, as though rehearsed, the noon hour struck, and as the last stroke sounded, horses, too, came to a collective halt. Unmindful of their bits and traces, whiffle trees, reins and shafts, prostrate on the streets, immune to whip or carrot, they would not rise. The Epizootic, so named by Vets, caused by no single germ, disease with dreadful symptoms, spread to farms. The nation slowed, harvests rotted in the fields, saloons ran dry. People learned to walk again, glue factories prospered, white-wings left their barrows in the barn. November's cooling airs worked a charm, recovery was slow, but Epizootic ceased to spread. Barns were cleaned, rid of damp and rats, horses dosed with Juniper Tar, Jamaican Rum, and HHH, the Horse's Friend. It was two decades later before the weary four-legged creatures, aid-to-man, began to be replaced by motor cars, another form of worship.
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