More Childrens Fables

Once upon a time, in a land very much like our own, there was a man named Christopher. Only, he wasn’t a man. He was a horse. And, to be perfectly frank, nobody called him Christopher. But, then again, nobody bothered to ask.

One day Christopher was out grazing in the fields when he happened upon a peasant gleaning the remnants of the harvest. He was a sturdy chap of four and twenty with strapping shoulders and a pockmarked face. Christopher came closer, and the peasant noticed him.

“Don’t mind me,” the peasant said. “I’ve only come to take what I need. No more, no less.”

This puzzled Christopher, namely because he didn’t speak English. He was a horse. It was rather like how you, dear reader, would feel speaking to an animal of another species: for instance, a goldfish, or an Italian.

On the next day, Christopher found himself in the same spot of the same field. And, lo and behold, the same peasant returned.

“I see the look you give me, horse, but come closer and listen to my many troubles. My family has nothing to eat, so I take what I can find in these fields. My son has the plague, but we can’t afford medicine. And I don’t really believe in vaccines anyway. My wife needs a glass eye, but we’re too poor to afford glass, so we’ve just filled the little hole in with dirt. All this and winter is upon us. If only I could find some way to last us through the cold!”

“Neigh,” said Christopher.

On the third day, Christopher returned to the field, but did not see the peasant at first. Then, suddenly he appeared, with a young wife and a boy of seven in tow.

“These, horse, are my family. We may not have much, but what we do have is each other’s love… And a dose of horse tranquilizer.”

And before he knew it, Christopher had been drugged, dragged, chopped up and pickled in several large barrels. The peasant’s family made it through the winter.