41 The Butcher
I saw a great deal of trouble among the horses in London, and much of it might have been prevented by a little common sense.
We horses do not mind hard work if we are treated reasonably, and I am sure there are many driven by quite poor men who have a happier life
than I had when I used to go in the Countess of W.'s carriage, with my silver-mounted harness and high feeding.
It often went to my heart to see how the little ponies were used, straining along with heavy loads or staggering under heavy blows from some low, cruel boy. Once I saw a little gray pony with a thick mane and a pretty head, and so much like Merrylegs that if I had not been in harness I should have neighed to him.
He was doing his best to pull a heavy cart, while a strong rough boy was cutting him under the belly with his whip and chucking cruelly at his little mouth. Could it be Merrylegs? It was just like him; but then Mr. Blomefield was never to sell him, and I think he would not do it; but this might have been quite as good a little fellow, and had as happy a place when he was young.
I often noticed the great speed at which butchers' horses were made to go, though I did not know why it was so till one day when we had to
wait some time in St. John's Wood. There was a butcher's shop next door, and as we were standing a butcher's cart came dashing up at a great pace.
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