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Get on Tumblr today and you’ll see it. An icon of a horse, at the bottom left corner of your screen. Whatever you do, don’t click on it. Don’t begin the pervasive cycle of pooping horses, shoveling shit, and the inevitability of death. Don’t you dare.
On Friday, just a day before April Fools’ Day, Tumblr staff shared a strange post on “How to love a horse.” It seemed innocuous, almost ominous, offering tips like “Don’t stop for anything,” and “If you stop cleaning it will END.” Then on Saturday, the icon appeared, bringing many a Tumblr user’s “horse friend” to life.
Well, more like accidental deaths.
The game seems pretty simple. You click the icon, meet your ridiculously named horse, and then the game begins. The horse shits, and shits some more, and each time you’re supposed to pick up the shit by clicking on it. But that’s where things get complicated.
The longer you pick up the poop, the more days your horse lives. If you don’t pick up the poop, the horse dies. If the horse poops twice and you don’t pick it up, it dies faster. If you click on the horse, hearts flutter, but nothing happens. If you minimize the window, the game doesn’t pause, leading you to kill your horse. (Though, going to another website or a Tumblr page that isn’t the dashboard will grant you some much-needed horse shit freedom.)
If the horse dies, you can “hatch” another one, or look at all your other dead horses by clicking, “Remember your dead.” Just, whatever you do, don’t stop picking up the poop.
Goodbye, sweet Ro’asts—I loved thee not well enough.
If you have a Tumblr account, you can click the camera button and share a screenshot of your horse friend activities. But otherwise, it’s a pretty calm, albeit weird, Tumblr April Fools’ Day game.
Tumblr users seem to be enjoying the game regardless. And if you don’t have an account, well, you may just have to live vicariously and feel blessed you don’t have a horse friend to kill for yourself.
If you feel so inclined to ignore my warnings and find yourself in possession of a shitting horse, one Tumblr user has already compiled a list of rules for total horse friend game domination.
Happy poop scooping, ya damn fools.
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.