Kate Jayroe

HFOd (Horse Food Only diet)

Have you ever wondered why horses are so pretty and smart and have really strong hair? Me too. It's Horse Food.
          Apples. Carrots. Oats? Hay.
The idea of a balanced diet is quite simply a bunch of mottled garbage. I’m betting all of my weight on the food that horses eat.

Since beginning my HFOd (Horse Food Only diet) the luster of my hair is now quite lustrous. My pores are so clear, that they have begun sprouting chestnut hairs of a goddess or of a quadruped that you could guide with reins. My neck has never been stronger. Or longer. My ankles are slender, yet sinewy. My ten toes have melded into two sexy hooves.

HFOd makes my people eyes grow big and gleam like fire in the cruelest afternoon light. I’ve stopped wearing clothing. Sometimes, though, my sweetheart braids my hairs with interesting mermaid-colored ribbons. He’s taken to wearing a large western-style hat in my presence. A sudden twang has attached itself to his speech. He has taken to the bolo tie, and he never plans to look back.

He makes a little clicking noise with his teeth when we are making love. I used to think it was odd, but now I find it to be a soothing vocal cue to our shared pleasures. He knows me better than most. He carries sugar cubes in his pockets.

The consumption of sugar cubes is a genius tactic of the horse, really. Cubes are quite cheap in bulk and serve as a highly effective morale booster. See, even Horse Food allows its “cheat days”. HFOd is flexible for all lifestyles (of anyone striving to live an equine lifestyle).

One word of caution: Hydration. On the Horse Food, I now drink seven gallons of water in a day. And if I don’t, I get all colicky and stamp around while making sad noises.

But also: don’t over hydrate! You may find that your body cannot process all of the moisture. It may get stored into your body as fat. Then, you would be a camel, and not a horse at all. Your expectoration skills would be the talk of the town, but a horse you would not be.

Have you ever been to Charleston? It’s quite haunted. I’ve just moved there, for a new job. As a horse, I’m also proudly able to defy the currently depressed job market. My niche skills and giant eyelashes have led me to offering historical carriage tours for my livelihood. Horses are public servants and I am horse.

Nicholas Sparks did some shit right over there, at that old home where shameful historical things happened for a long time. Now, the extremely wealthy enter marriage in that very same house, at unawares or perhaps simply with uncares of their grand ignorance. The orange corridor wallpapers were special ordered from across the unclear waters of the Atlantic and cost twenty dollars, but three hundred years ago. There are joggling boards. I’m not certain of the math. As a horse, I am beyond such petty concerns of economic exchange over generations of time. Right this way; we will see the lovely harbor, its brined wash of history.

Since HFOd, I now have the grace of a unicorn and the practical capabilities of a large machine named Kubota or Caterpillar. And people just can’t get enough! If being a tour guide doesn’t suit your fancy, fear not! The careers of a horse are many. I’ve been featured in FFA shows, and am have a special tour with the local County Fair circuit forthcoming. And the boys in blue let me tell you! I’ve had to stop the police from recruiting me so many times! It feels invasive! It is invasive!

Perhaps the greatest effect of the Horse Food Diet is the reality that I now sleep standing up. People who are afraid of becoming their best selves may be frightened by this physical alteration. Do not be afraid, this upright rest allows for heightened productivity and makes loud snoring that will wake your loved ones virtually impossible.

As an avid muncher of grass, I can also proudly boast of my environmental conservation efforts. Rather than a loud ole’ hog of a lawnmower, a horse is a stunning vision of beauty who landscapes for sustenance.  Grass is the horse’s bread and butter. Bread and butter are the horse’s grass. We would never eat such!

If you have further inquiries about Horse Food Diet, I congratulate you for valuing your physical shell and your wellbeing. Many do not ever take this crucial step. If you’re tired of choking on those biotin supplements, if you’re feeling stifled by your lack of career options, if you’re craving grass and oats like a motherfucker, then I can assure you, HFOd is most certainly your answer.


Kate Jayroe is an editor with Portland Review, bookseller at Powell's Books, Youth Programs Intern at Literary Arts, and staff member with Sewanee Writers' Conference. Other work by them appears in NANO Fiction, Juked, jmww, Hobart, and elsewhere.