Page:Black Beauty (1877).djvu/143

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what that is, up and down those steep hills, only horses know. Some of the sights I saw there, where a horse had to come down-hill with a heavily-loaded two-wheel cart behind him, on which no drag 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 colour, 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 fidgetty. 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.