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2004 Personal Accounts
The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes reluctant) readers. Next Prev Random


Dodging the Draft Horse
2004 Personal Account

(Spring 1942, Wisconsin) My late great-grandfather told me this story, and my great-uncle swears it really happened. During World War II, Larry Shaw, a 19-year-old college dropout, received notice he was to be drafted. He was given orders to report to an Army recruiting post. Already having lost an uncle and a cousin to the Japanese, Larry was afraid to go. He was aware that if he wasn't in perfect health, the Army would reject him. But if he hurt himself on purpose, he would go to jail!

Larry, who worked at a farm with my great-grandfather, came up with a plan to "accidentally" hurt himself just enough to avoid the war, in a manner believable enough to pass as an accident.

While he and his co-workers were in the field, and without alerting any of them to his intentions, Larry walked up to a horse and tried to get it to step on his foot and break his toes. The horse, however, refused to move. No matter how much Larry pushed and shoved the horse, he couldn't get it to step on him. After trying for a long time, the frustrated Darwin hopeful got mad and kicked the horse in the tail. The startled horse responded by kicking back.

Larry was struck in the throat and died a few hours later, successfully dodging the draft, if not the kick. © 1994 - 2020
Reference: Pauline Moyer

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