328 At the Back of the North Wind
"Your master's not mine," said Ruby. "I must attend to my own master's interests, and eat all that is given me, and be as sleek and fat as I can, and go no faster than I need."
"Now really if the rest of the horses weren't all asleep, poor things—they work till they're tired—I do believe they would get up and kick you out of the stable. You make me ashamed of being a horse. You dare to say my master ain't your master! That's your gratitude for the way he feeds you and spares you! Pray where would your carcass be if it weren't for him?"
"He doesn't do it for my sake. If I were his own horse, he would work me as hard as he does you."
"And I'm proud to be so worked. I wouldn't be as fat as you—not for all you're worth. You're a disgrace to the stable. Look at the horse next you. He's something like a horse—all skin and bone. And his master ain't over kind to him either. He put a stinging lash on his whip last week. But that old horse knows he's got the wife and children to keep —as well as his drunken master—and he works like a horse. I daresay he grudges his master the beer he drinks, but I don't believe he grudges anything else."
"Well, I don't grudge yours what he gets by me," said Ruby.
"Gets!" retorted Diamond. "What he gets isn't worth grudging. It comes to next to nothing—what with vour fat and your shine."