US Stamps

A famous talking horse inspires August cartoon caption contest

Aug 1, 2023, 8 AM
The cartoon caption contest image for August is the 22¢ Saddlebred stamp from the 1985 Horses block of four. Entries must be received by Aug. 25 for a chance to win a prize.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

Were you paying attention to the TV in the early to mid-1960s? If so, you might recollect one of my favorite programs of the era: Mister Ed. It ran six seasons from 1961-66.

The show featured a horse, Mister Ed, who not only had the power of speech but also a sharp intellect and wisdom that often exceeded that of his owner, Wilbur Post, played by actor Alan Young (1919-2016).

The premise of the show was that only Wilbur could understand Mister Ed. The rest of his family could not.

The Mister Ed role was played by an American Saddlebred/part Arabian horse named Bamboo Harvester (1949-70).

The viewpoint of the horse always fascinated me despite the show spanning my college years when I was mostly otherwise occupied. It fascinates me still.

So we will use the 22¢ stamp showing an American Saddlebred (Scott 2157) from the 1985 Horses block of four (2158a) as the cartoon caption contest stamp for August.

Start the conversation by asking the horse a question, and then report how you think the horse might answer. The subject can be anything having to do with horsemanship, current events, postal operations, stamp collecting or anything else that occurs to you.

Entries with a touch of humor or irony stand the best chance of winning the contest.

There will be two prizes given to the winners: one for the best philatelic line and one for the best nonphilatelic line.

Put your entry (or entries) on a postcard if possible and send it to me, John Hotchner, Cartoon Contest, Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125; or email it to If you send an email, it is essential that you include your postal mailing address.

For each winner, the prize will be a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension). Entries must reach me no later than Aug. 25.

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