An old horse who wants nothing more than to eat grass in the Nebraska city of Hickman is now something of a media celebrity.
Peter Rabbit, 32, has grazed his pasture since the day he was born, but the suburbs have encroached and the town fathers say it’s time for Peter Rabbit to go.
His owner says the quarter horse is too old to move. Peter Rabbit and his owner are not budging.
Talk about your one horse town, Hickman, with 1,084 residents is just that despite a town bylaw saying horses are not welcome within its limits.
But some folks don’t want that distinction. They want an aging horse named Peter Rabbit gone for good.
With houses having sprung up around Peter Rabbit’s pasture, Mayor Jim Hrouda and five of the six City Council members are determined to enforce the livestock ban.
Shortly after a council meeting, the horse’s owner, 76-year-old Harley Scott, was served an eviction notice that orders the animal off the land, plus an infringement notice, which could cost him $100 every day if the authorities want to keep issuing them.
Other folks say the horse should stay, despite an ordinance that bans livestock inside city limits.
“I feel bad for the poor horse. He’s probably going to die soon anyway,” said Jamie Cox, who manages the town bar, Sadie’s Place.
“As long as he’s being taken care of, they should leave him alone.”
Scott said he has raised Peter Rabbit since the brown Morgan-quarter horse crossbreed was born in his pasture in the spring of 1976.
There have been horses on this land since Scott’s father bought 40 acres in 1935. Only about four acres remain in the family.
His land was annexed in 2006, but Scott said no one said anything to him at the time about having to give up the horse.
Scott said. “I would prefer to have him remain as stable as he is and be able to enjoy the remainder of his life.
It appears … this dispute is far from over.