On the way in today I saw a single grey horse where I normally see two grey horses, on the road between Crawley and the Bird-in-Hand pub. As I passed by the field, parallax revealed to me a second horse standing right behind it. The two together looked like they’d been cast from the same mould, and made me think that, as I continued, I might see a third almost identical horse behind them, and a fourth.
The pair are always in that field, always close to each other and nuzzling. Their owner probably describes them proudly as white, when they’re really a sort of chewing-gum or newspaper grey. Let’s be as honest and as unromantic as we can, so that they’re still beautiful despite our rhetoric, not because. To see such apparently loving, attentive and frankly allegorical animals is to be profoundly unmanned, and to risk projecting all manner of drives and emotions on these beasts.
The quintessence of their beauty, after all, is that they’re not human. For a start, if they were human they’d need a bath.