Extract from ‘East: Notes from the Margin’

In the paddock behind the yard at the old manor, a large and shaggy horse is tethered. The trespasser might suppose that it has some connexion with the caravan in the yard. Nothing could be further from the truth. Neither is destined to travel beyond its compound. Like its master, the beast appears to be the product of a particularly unfortunate game of consequences, its body an insane jigsaw puzzle pieced together from parts of a dozen disparate monsters. There is that grotesque head – too heavy for the puny body – housing a brain the size of a horse chestnut, the wiry legs ending in elephantine hooves, the tail composed of a filthy mop of knotted strings. Then there is the coat, which might be termed dapple-grey if such could describe the piebald matted strands of off-whites and dirty browns out of which it has been woven. Despite the coarseness of its coat, the brute’s ribs may still be seen sticking out from its flanks. The lank straw-coloured mane… A good many such animals stand on scraps of land across Little Friesland, waiting to be dispatched to the Low Countries via the local knacker.

© PSR 2000

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