Dialogue: Agility Class

"I futtin' hate stairs. I didn't used to have to think about stairs."

"You used to have only two legs."

"Going up's not so hard."

"We're going down."

"It's not the extra legs. I can handle the legs. It's the thousand pounds of horse pushing from behind."

"Brace with your front legs."

"I am bracing."

"Don't use the bannister."

"Why not?"

"What if there's no bannister sometime?"

"Look, they gave me a bannister, I'm going to use the futtin' bannister."

"It's easier going down backwards."

"I can't go down backwards now!"

"I didn't mean now. Just, if the opportunity presents itself."

"One foot at a time, gentlemen. A back leg, then a front. The day will come when you trip lightly down and spring onto the dance floor for a tango, but right now, one foot at a time."

"I wish Brice had never shown round that picture. I want to meet Ed in a dark alley some day."

"Lay off. Brice is lucky to have him. Wish I'd had an Ed."

"Dogs and cats do this all the time."

"Dogs and cats are a lot smaller. (huff) Finally."

"Here's that tight corner again."

"It's not so tight unless you're a brewery horse."

"Show us how it's done, then, Pony-Boy."

"Very good, gentlemen. That's the first time everyone got through the kitchen without bumping anything. Excellent, Mr. Wardley. Now, back in, find a place you haven't sat before, and follow the instructions on the sheet."

"Lieutenant, I don't know how to make an omelet."

"You will after this."

"How does this relate to agility, sir?"

"The omelet part doesn't, but it'll teach you how to make an omelet. Later, we graduate to cooking over campfires, which you will find very useful and, of course, roomier. For agility, the point of the exercise is to get everything done by reaching, without getting up. Turning around is encouraged. A strong and flexible waist is a tremendous asset."

"Can we scooch, sir?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"Can we scooch around on our butts, without getting up?"

"Oh. If you find it convenient. At this point, your dignity is your own affair. Actually, yes, good idea. Anything to encourage inventiveness in the locomotion department. Please note I am firing up the central range now. You will all share the use of it. Watch your tails and be on the alert for the smell of burning horsehair."

"That was an impressive bit of balancing, sir."

"Oh. Thank you. You will come to it in time. I didn't really think about it. I just needed to reach over Fells to get to the knob."

"One hoof..."

"You must be sure of your footing, of course."

"Gah! Eggs again, please. Why do I keep smashing them? I do know how to make an omelet."

"You don't know your own strength, now. Another reason for this exercise: fine-motor coordination. You need to recalibrate."

"Do you remember toes?"


"Well, footing. It reminded me. And I don't think I can remember what it felt like to wiggle my toes. Where's the knife?"

"Knifeboard. Do you want your toes back?"

"No. I just don't like forgetting. Last night, I was trying to remember what it felt like to have just two legs."

"I don't have any trouble remembering things from when I was a little kid. Just a lower camera angle. Cheese, please. Thanks. I don't know there was ever much memory of body."

"How about a sharp pain in the foot?"

"Well, yes, I once stepped straight on a nail… You're right. It comes back as a pain in my left rear, but it can't have been. Ah! Or I can remember it as in my left front. Either way."

"Martin's jodhpurs, you two won't ever lack for something to talk about."

"'Martin's jodhpurs'?"

"Just trying to get into the spirit of things."

"Sir, do we have to include these herbs?"

"Why? What's the matter with them?"

"They look like mulch."

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