BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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COCKNEYS.
115
The driver was one of those random, ignorant fellows who didn't even know which is their own side of the road, or, if they knew, don't care. And there was poor Rory with his flesh torn open and bleeding, and the blood streaming down. They said if it had been a little more to one side it would have killed him; and a good thing for him, poor fellow, if it had.
As it was, it was a long time before the wound healed, and then he was sold for coal-carting; and what that is, up and doivn those steep hills, only horses know. Some of the sights I saw there, where a horse had to come downhill with a heavily loaded two-wheel cart behind him, on which no brake could be placed, make me sad even now to think of.
After Rory was disabled, I often went in the carriage with a mare named Peggy, who stood in the next stall to mine. She was a strong, well-made animal, of a bright dun color, beautifully dappled, and with a dark-brown mane and tail. There was no high breeding about her, but she was very pretty, and remarkably sweet-tempered and willing. Still, there was an anxious look about her eye, by which I knew that she had some trouble. The first time we went out together I thought she had a very odd pace; she seemed to go partly a trot, partly a canter, three or four paces, and then a little jump forward.
It was very unpleasant for any horse who pulled with her, and made me quite fidgety. When we got home I asked her what made her go in that odd, awkward way.
"Ah," she said, in a troubled manner, " I know my paces are very bad, but what can I do? It really is not my fault; it is just because my legs are so short. I stand nearly as high as you, but your legs are a good three inches longer above your knee than mine, and of course you can take a much longer step and go much faster. You see I did not make myself. I wish I could have done so; I would have had long legs, then. All my troubles come from my short legs,'' said Peggy, in a desponding tone.
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