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20.6.10

Unsuitable steeds





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Hearty draughts of vintage single malt give Sancho the confidence to try to ride a horse, but as soon as it starts running, Sancho falls off, so, needing advice, we visit our old friend Agnes, who is an expert in such matters. We find her with Jumping Jack, her little dog, and Havoc, a war donkey that Agnes is nursing back to health after he lost his front legs whilst on a mission with the Munatafiq donkey division (Secret Intelligence unit no. 9). We tell Agnes that Sancho is nervous about riding horses as they travel too quickly, and we ask her if she can lend Havoc to Sancho, but Agnes tells us that, although Havoc is getting better every day, he still has to be supported by a stick, and he isn't stable enough to carry a rider.

We ask Agnes if she knows of a donkey or a horse that would be suitable for Sancho, and she takes us to see her sister, Margery, who has a mare called Festa who doesn't like running. This sounds perfect, but, when we meet Margery, she explains that, although Festa does not like running, she doesn't like walking either, in fact, as Margery demonstrates, Festa doesn't even like standing up, so, while there is an advantage in that, when riding Festa, there isn't a great distance to fall, there is the disadvantage that, as Festa will only shuffle along on her bottom, even short journeys can take a long time.

Sancho says he's fed up with the whole business and goes back to the house. I point out that we have to find some transport for Sancho quickly, as we are worryingly behind schedule; Agnes suggests that Sancho travel by car but Juan says that, if a horse is too fast for Sancho, he would be terrified by at the speed of a car. Margery suggests that he travel by balloon, as balloons are slow. This is a wonderful idea and, to celebrate, Juan breaks open the Vintage Glen Moray, Bladnoch, Oban, and Auchentoshan Private Reserve and we offer toast after toast to Margery and Agnes, and their wonderful animals, then, linking arms and singing 'The Braes of Mar' and 'A Steed, A Steed', we stumble around in circles, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink's Diary