There is a famous Marabout in Djenne , one of the only remaining great horsemen in town ( the rest have all taken to mopeds.) He likes to ride his horse in full ceremonial regalia on Fridays and the day of Tabaski - the Islamic New Year Celebration. He has had an eye for Xaloc ever since he saw me riding him through town a few months ago.
Since my accident I have decided to use Xaloc for the new carriage we have bought. He and Max will both be used for this purpose, since I don't want to ride Xaloc again- I am still hobbling around from the last time. The Marabout has got wind of this, and today he arrived, dressed in black on his black stallion just before sunset, cutting a dashing figure, to plead with me to let him have Xaloc either in exchange for his mount, or to let him buy him.
He is outraged that I should consider putting my beautiful young Xaloc in front of a carriage. He pointed at Max, grazing quietly and minding his own business on the field in front of the hotel - 'just look at him! He was a great horse, very beautiful too, but his spirit is broken'. I was slightly put out by this. Max is still a beautiful horse in my opinion. He is very calm and does what he is told- not a bad idea when his purpose is to pull a carriage full of tourists!
Ibrahim took the side of the Marabout in his argument and agreed that Max was a broken horse- 'a horse used for a carriage becomes more like a donkey', he said.
What to do? I think I will exchange Xaloc for the Marabout's horse.