He makes me laugh!
... It was the farmer’s horse that grazed in the meadow. My life, for a whole month, was embittered by that roving mountain. Lying under the hedge, I could see his heavy feet disfiguring the ground. I breathed his vulgar odor and heard his strident cry shaking the air. Once when he was eating the lower twigs of the hedge, I saw myself—the whole of me—reflected in one of his eyes! I fled ... and from that day my hatred was so strong that I wildly hoped to annihilate the monster. I’ll go up to him, thought I, I’ll plant myself firmly in front of him, and the desire of his death will be so strong in my eyes, that perhaps, he’ll die when he meets my look ...
I carried out my plan. But the horse I had waited for in fear and trembling, just blew through his nostrils a long jet of foul-smelling vapor, and I fell back in atrocious convulsions.
TOBY-DOG, (Inwardly writhing with laughter)
You don’t exaggerate?
Never! And She must needs go climbing on a horse’s back, holding fast to four cords, one leg this side and the other that. ... Strange aberration!
We don’t think alike, Cat. For me, the horse is, after man, the most beautiful thing in the world.
KIKI-THE-DEMURE, (vexed) And where do I come in?
TOBY-DOG, (evasive and courteous)
Oh, you’re a Cat. But a horse, and with Her on his back! What a beautiful picture they make, high up in the blue air! To gaze on it, I have to throw my head ’way back on my thick neck. The horse lends her his speed. Now at last, She can race with me when I go off on a mad run. Sometimes I’m ahead, ears floating back and tongue hanging out like a little flag—the angular shadow of the horse on the road in front. If I follow her, a fragrant dust blows back at me. It smells of warm leather, moist beast, and a little of her own perfume too. The road runs under me, like a ribbon that someone is pulling. Oh, what joy it is to be so little and so swift, running along in the shadow of a great galloping horse! When we halt, I pant like a motor, between the legs of my friend, who snorts and in the kindliest way puts down his fettered mouth and sprinkles me ...
I know, I know! The horse “with long mane ashake; hoofs, heavy with tumult; eyes, glimmering white.” ...You are the last of the Romanticists.