At the Back of the North Wind Illustrated - online book

A Complete Illustrated children's fantasy book by George MacDonald.

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Diamond and Ruby               331
At the words, the old horse arose with a scramble like thunder, shot his angry head and glaring eye over into Ruby's stall, and said—
" Keep out of my way, you unworthy wretch, or I'll bite you. You a horse! Why did you do that?"
" Because I wanted to grow fat."
" You grease-tub! Oh! my teeth and tail! I thought you were a humbug! Why did you want to get fat? There's no truth to be got out of you but by cross-questioning. You ain't fit to be a horse."
" Because once I am fat, my nature is to keep fat for a long time; and I didn't know when master might come home and want to see me."
" You conceited, good-for-nothing brute! You're only fit for the knacker's yard. You wanted to look hand­some, did you? Hold your tongue, or I'll break my halter and be at you—with your handsome fat!"
" Never mind, Diamond. You're a good horse. You can't hurt me."
" Can't hurt you! Just let me once try."
" No, you can't."
"Why then?"
"Because I'm an angel."
"What's that?"
" Of course you don't know."
" Indeed I don't."
" I know you don't. An ignorant, rude old human horse, like you, couldn't know it. But there's young Diamond listening to all we're saying; and he knows well enough there are horses in heaven for angels to ride upon, as well as other animals, lions and eagles
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