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It's huge, it stinks, and you've got to deal with it. Nothing says "I really don't want to be here" than a steaming mound of faeces from a horse.

I spent a year doing this kind of fun, outdoorsy work, and it wasn't all bad. Horse shit piles up nicely, and it doesn't smell too bad when it's had a few hours to dry out. The main problem was the horses, who would come trotting up to hang out with me while I toiled with my shovel and wheelbarrow.

They would come up and sniff the dung in the barrow to see if it was interesting, and then pull a face. They would give me a mournful look telling me they wanted me to scratch them - awwww! Only, sometimes they wanted lots of scratching, and would get annoyed when I got back to work, and then kicked my load of manure over. That was probably better than the friendly "Hey, let's have scratchytimes now!" bite on the shoulder. Ouch.

All this paled in comparison to the fact that they knew quite well what I was doing, and would walk up and deposit a fresh pile of excrement a little way in front of me. Oh, thanks. How thoughtful. I'm sure they wanted to help, but I didn't really need to see that.

I've long thought of any insanely stupid or downright deceptive set of lies as a pile of horse shit. It stinks, it gets everything it touches dirty, filthy opportunists buzz around it, and someone has to clear it away one shovel load at a time.

The fact is, I'd rather be shovelling real horse shit than dealing with the other kind. I'd rather have the real fun of equine company than the migraine induced by reading another pile of horse shit in the news.

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