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News

Pony Tale

Mitt: White-horse rider or horse’s ass?

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Whenever Mitt and I ate horsemeat on our mission to Paris, he always asked the waiter if the horsemeat in question came from a white horse. “Es c’est que la viande de cheval une cheval blanc?” he would inquire in his best ungrammatical missionary French. The waiters thought he was nuts, but Mitt simply refused to eat la viande de cheval unless he knew for sure it didn’t come from a white horse.

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I remembered this dietary peculiarity of my senior missionary companion when the papers ran stories last week on the so-called White Horse Prophecy, according to which a man, presumably a Mormon, would ride into our nation’s capital on a pure-white steed to save our imperiled country and the Constitution, our divinely inspired founding document, which, because of the iniquities of our citizenry, would be hanging by a thread.

nn

The Mormon on a White Horse would thus initiate a train of events leading to the rule of the righteous from somewhere in Jackson County, Mo., followed in due course by the return of our Lord, who would be crowned in glory and reign for 1,000 years.

nn

At first Mitt, or Elder Romney'the honorific I was obliged to use even though we were practically cheek (I refer to the anatomy of the facial region) by jowl 24/7'was reluctant to tell me why he had this thing about not eating the flesh of a white horse. It seemed to me at the time that once you decided to ingest horsemeat'a favorite food of those funny French people'the color of the horse was irrelevant.

nn

It was like pulling teeth'or, more precisely, like chewing roasted horse'to get Elder Romney to explain his abstention from eating white horses. Finally, as we relaxed over a bottle of Burgundy and bleu cheese after an exhausting day of preaching, Mitt clutched at my forearm and looked beseechingly into my eyes.

nn

“Don’t you know about the White Horse?” he said in an urgent whisper.

nn

He couldn’t have been referring to White Horse whiskey, because his favorite was Johnny Walker Red.

nn

“Are you talking about the horse with no name, the one you ride through the desert when you want to get out of the rain?nn

“No, no,” Elder Romney said, a trace of annoyance creeping into his voice. “That’s a horse of a different color entirely.nn

Mitt proceeded to fill me in on the Prophecy of the White Horse, and we subsequently spent many enjoyable evenings discussing the fine points of the prophecy and parsing prophetic pronouncements on the matter by various distinguished Mormon General Authorities. I discovered there wasn’t a whole lot of agreement on where the White Horse came from or where it was going. The one point that scholars considered gospel truth was the historical account in the Book of Mormon of Samuel the Lamanite riding into Bountiful on his White Ass. Like all Lamanites, Samuel, an inspiring preacher on the order of the Rev. Al Sharpton, had been cursed with a dark skin, due to the iniquities of his forbears.

nn

“Behold my White Ass,” preached Samuel, “which was once red and splotchy. Just as through the gospel it has become white and delightsome, so shall ye red and splotchy guys one day become white and delightsome. And you gals, too. And your asses.nn

But was Samuel the Lamanite’s White Ass in reality a horse? Or just a horse’s ass? All I know is that Elder Romney studied the question incessantly. When he ran for president, as all of us missionaries knew he would, he wanted to be sure he was the Man on the White Horse, and not just your run-of-the-mill horse’s ass.

nn

All I know is that Mitt spent more and more time at the riding academy near the Tuileries, working with Madame Beaucheval on his equestrian skills. He also never missed an episode of Mr. Ed.

nn

Many of my associates on the Council of the Twelve know of a surety that Mitt is indeed the Man on the White Horse. All I know is that when the time comes, Mitt will be ready. (That’s why he wears cowboy boots'not because they make him look taller.)

nn

In a related story, many observers thought Mitt was talking French in last week’s debate when, in the space of five seconds, he used the expressions “non sequitur” and “null set.” They are actually Reformed Egyptian words that translate as “Man on a White Horse.”

nnn

D.P. Sorensen writes satire for City Weekly.