Petunia is just outraged. There she was, all comfortable in her nice warm stable, when she’s yanked out, a blanket — a blanket! — is thrown over her and a nasty nylon rug slapped on top, then flung out in the field with the rest of them. Honestly.
She’s got nothing against Oscar, the hunter; he has very nice manners, but he is just the teeniest bit common. Benji the pony is all right, if rather excitable — he never stops bouncing — but Angus the Shetland is just so beneath her (almost literally — he’s very small).
At least, Billy has stopped wittering on about Horse of the Year Show. Petunia herself was at HOYS this year and won her hack class, though unlike Billy she didn’t go champion. There’s no accounting for judges’ tastes these days…
Now she’s in the field, rugged up, and it’s chilly and overcast and she wants to be back in her cosy stable. She thinks of her lovely deep straw bed, with its banked sides, and her full haynet with longing…
“Come on, Petunia,” shouts Billy, cantering away from the gate. “This will warm you up!”
Well, honestly. As if Petunia needs warming up; she’s a hotblooded Thoroughbred.
“Come on, Pet,” Oscar’s deep rumble beside her ear makes her jump slightly. Pet? “If you have a little canter you’ll soon be warm and it’s fun. Stretch those long, beautiful legs of yours.”
Ah. Petunia peeks at Oscar through her extravagant eyelashes. He really is rather handsome. With a last (but slightly less longing) look in the direction of her stable, she wheels around and sets off across the field, humping her back and letting off a volley of huge bucks, with Oscar hot on her heels. He’s right. This is fun.