Performers tend to a horse across the stadium prior to the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012. / Getty Images
(CBS/AP) LONDON - The $42 million opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics in London featured a cast of thousands.
It also featured 70 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens and nine geese. One of those horses is a shire horse.
The animals were part of an agricultural pastoral idyll with grassy meadows, fences, a water mill and maypoles that was included in the ceremony, inspired by Shakespeare's "The Tempest."
A cast including shepherdesses and a village cricket team filled the stage during the one-hour prologue to the show.
After "England's green and pleasant land" came the "dark Satanic mills" of William Blake's poem "Jerusalem (And did those feet in ancient time)" The next phase saw the grass uprooted and fences torn down to be replaced by a blackened landscape of looms and foundries that conjured the Industrial Revolution.