SIXTY YEARS AGO, a man's working horse could earn a living wage as a dray horse. Your horse might pull a milk dray on a well-worn route through town.
Dray horses were common sights every morning through South County Dublin through the 1950s. Milkmen got paid enough to feed and care for their horsepower.
I grew up with Irish-American roots a continent away with milk men but not with working horses. In Ireland, the roundsmen raced from house to house, arms laden with milk bottles, while the horses ambled steadily forwards. The horses knew where to stop. We had a milk man with the most under-powered truck I ever heard.
Those dray horses were quieter than the delivery vans that race past our front door every weekday. I can't help but think that the horses could keep the pace of deliveries happening faster than driving, stopping and walking products to the front door.
Bernie Goldbach saves links about heritage.