A Beast of Burden

Many years ago, the sight of farmers and their beasts of burden churning through the muddy paddies of Sri Lanka was an everyday occurrence.

A Beast of Burden

Seen in the distance, it was a sight that nurtured romantic notions of timelessness and the bucolic life.  That it was hard and cringingly muddy work for both animal and man was fully apparent if you managed to get closer

A Beast of Burden 1

While many a pair has now been replaced by rotary hoes, the almost symbiotic relationship between the two seems to be expressed when you’re driving by at lunch time, or in the late afternoon, and everywhere, it seems, is the perfect place for a mud bath

A Beast of Burden 4

I love the dialogue opened up by combining these photographs – without the contrary view, the story is incomplete.



22 thoughts on “A Beast of Burden

  1. Depending on how you look at it, what may be a burden could be in different circumstances be considered a blessing – a useful philosophy for life in general.

  2. Great captures of these water buffalo, Meredith. The one photo looks like you’re almost in the mud with them. Smart animals. They know how to cool off and keep the flies off.

  3. Marvelous captures Meredith. They seem to be luxuriating in their mud baths 🙂 These bucolic scenes are fast disappearing from our villages as well. I think we used bullocks more often than buffaloes.

  4. The realities of farm life, whether in Sri Lanka or here on the Great Plains, is far different than the romantic images most hold. You beautiful photos capture that dichotomy very well.

    • Aren’t they just! The heartbreak …

      I’m cooking up my last batch of Lamb Shanks alla Bartolini – Spring is coming fast but I couldn’t resist those pretty shanks in the butchers the other day … the smell is glorious! Thinking of you and your Zia having fun with honey 🙂

  5. actually came by when i stumbled upon your beautiful and fitting tribute to Christine who passed away while i was in the midst of a blogging hiatus. as i was beginning to make the rounds i read the posts kindly put up by her husband Stuart and i could not believe what i was reading. such a shock. the comments at your tribute are closed but i did want to acknowledge it here. thanks for sharing.
    and thank you also for these beautiful clicks.

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