Chapter 48: Farmer Thoroughgood and His Grandson Willie
"My dear boy, I can't make all old horses young; besides,
Ladybird was not so very old, as she was run down and badly used."
"Well, grandpapa, I don't believe that this one is old;
look at his mane and tail. I wish you would look into his mouth,
and then you could tell; though he is so very thin,
his eyes are not sunk like some old horses'."
The old gentleman laughed. "Bless the boy! he is as horsey
as his old grandfather."
"But do look at his mouth, grandpapa, and ask the price;
I am sure he would grow young in our meadows."
The man who had brought me for sale now put in his word.
"The young gentleman's a real knowing one, sir. Now the fact is,
this 'ere hoss is just pulled down with overwork in the cabs;
he's not an old one, and I heerd as how the vetenary should say,
that a six months' run off would set him right up, being as how
his wind was not broken. I've had the tending of him these ten days past,
and a gratefuller, pleasanter animal I never met with, and 'twould be worth
a gentleman's while to give a five-pound note for him, and let him have
a chance. I'll be bound he'd be worth twenty pounds next spring."
The old gentleman laughed, and the little boy looked up eagerly.
"Oh, grandpapa, did you not say the colt sold for five pounds more
than you expected? You would not be poorer if you did buy this one."
The farmer slowly felt my legs, which were much swelled and strained;
then he looked at my mouth. "Thirteen or fourteen, I should say;
just trot him out, will you?"
I arched my poor thin neck, raised my tail a little, and threw out my legs
as well as I could, for they were very stiff.