330 At the Back of the North Wind
for your own legs—so long as you can eat, eat, and sleep, sleep. You ahorse indeed!"
" But I tell you I was lame."
" I'm not denying there was a puffy look about your off-pastern. But my belief is, it wasn't even grease— it was fat."
" I tell you I put my foot on one of those horrid stones they make the roads with, and it gave my ankle such a twist."
" Ankle indeed! Why should you ape your betters? Horses ain't got any ankles: they're only pasterns. And so long as you don't lift your feet better, but fall asleep between every step, you'll run a good chance of laming all your ankles as you call them, one after another. It's not your lively horse that comes to grief in that way. I tell you I believe it wasn't much, and if it was it was your own fault. There! I've done. I'm going to sleep. I'll try to think as well of you as I can. If you would but step out a bit and run off a little of your fat!"
Here Diamond began to double up his knees; but Ruby spoke again, and, as young Diamond thought, in a rather different tone.
" I say, Diamond, I can't bear to have an honest old horse like you, think of me like that. I will tell you the truth: it was my own fault that I fell lame."
" I told you so," returned the other, tumbling against the partition as he rolled over on his side to give his legs every possible privilege in their narrow circumstances.
" I meant to do it, Diamond."