Catherine Macaulay
Catherine Macaulay

Ask Lord Morris

Name: Morris the Horse

Address: The Firth of Clyde

Occupation: Dragonslayer

Date of Birth: A.D. 1429

Veterinarian: Claudio, court physician

Referred by: The wind

Describe Injuries: Whiplash, burns across the shoulder

Individual to Notify in Case of Emergency: His Majesty the King

List any Previous Medical Ailments & Treatments: colic, the falling sickness, twice been bled twice with leeches

Lord Morris periodically consents to answering questions from his subjects in the realm. Please submit your queries to Lord Morris of Tryon via

Dear Lord Morris,

There just ain’t no pleasing my rider. I swear, one minute, the man’s spurring me forward and then, he yanks hard on my mouth. Pert near tears my gums out. What’s a feller to do?


Down in the Mouth


My Good Fellow,

To be sure, ‘tis a hugely tasking life we horses lead in the service of such a befuddled species. Who but their kind would presume to lead us round and round inside an arena of such conflicted thinking. 

A dialogue—that’s what’s needed. We must raise the poor devils up from their muddled thoughts. Why, just the other day I was conversing with Lord Thriceround, a most delightful fellow, if not a bit redundant.

I said “Lord Thricefound, we must teach this species how to be clear headed like us, for to be sure, there’s not an ounce of horse sense between the whole lot of them.”  

“Pray,” he replied. “Have you not read Gordon Wright’s book Learning to Ride, Hunt and Show. Now there is a human who has something to say. It’s as though he’s talking straight from the horse’s mouth. Poetry my good man, sheer poetry. I heartily recommend it.”

Beyond that, I refer you to the Field Guide to Mammals, which will alert you as to the unpredictability of this particular, mammalian species. You will see that placing any undue stress upon yourself for their shortcomings is a grave mistake.



Dear Lord Morris,

I don’t get no respect. My pasture mates continually taunt me and my rider pushes me around. Just yesterday, some bum even called me a one trick pony. Just ‘cause mine ain’t the best-looking mug in the barn aisle don’t mean I ain’t got no feelings.

How do you handle things, you being just a spotted, toy horse and all. Don’t mean no disrespect, but, let’s face it, yuz is just a carved out piece of balsa wood painted in polka dots and yet you still fetch way more respect that I ever could and I’m real horseflesh. How do you do it?



Tony the Pony


My Good Fellow,

You must retaliate at once! Why, the Saxon who dared call me Polka Dot still bears the hoof print of my rage. A one trick pony, indeed! It makes no difference your breed or construct. You were fashioned for greatness, just as I—Lord Morris—was hand-crafted to be a Slayer of Dragons, Defender of the Faith, bound by truth, virtue and honor, and, I might add, endowed with exceedingly good manners. A nobility of mind—that is what serves one well in life. That, and some fine quality alfalfa.

Beyond that, I have but one prescriptive. Go west! Those native to America have always put great store in their ponies. Such mighty, open spaces upon which you could thunder. Ah, would that I could accompany you upon such a journey. But alas, the mundane business of governing my kingdom here in Tryon requires an ever diligence. Besides, I always pick up the nastiest flu bug when I travel. L.M.



Dear Lord Morris,

My owner is obese. Every day, rain or shine, she heaves her fat carcass into the saddle

and starts pounding up and down on my back. What can I do? I’m dying here.





Dear Hurtin’ Horse,

I myself once faced a similar plight. It was back when Sir Plushbottom was into rescuing damsels in distress.

“Look here good fellow,” I said to him. “‘Tis one thing to bear the burden of your amour upon my back, quite another to have my shoulders sag under overweight princesses of little estate. Pray, have you seen the thighs on those wenches you’ve been rescuing lately? Pure mutton.”

Alas, Lord Plushbottom refused to heed my words. I tell you, he showed no mercy. It was with the deepest regret that I ejected him from the saddle and left his ample pastures. You, too, might follow that lead, or, if your lord is less impudent than mine, you might politely suggest that he remain within the weight limit you prescribe. If he still refuses, then I suggest giving him a good, stout workout.


Start by being sluggish in your movements, ignoring his stick and spur, if necessary. Make the knave work. Pray, if that doesn’t succeed, you might try playing hard to get in the field. Make him run to catch you.

Be advised, however, that humans have but two feet, you fully four. Lure him into believing that he is gaining on you lest he grow discouraged and quit. The important thing is to keep the lardon moving, it matters not upon what lead. Get him thinking ‘forward, forward!’   L.M.



Dear Lord Morris,

I live in a dark, cramped stall, barely big enough to turn around. Worse, my

owners only turn me out for just two hours a day. I’m so depressed. Help me.



Dark Horse


Dear Dark Horse,

I regret to hear your unhappy news. Such lodgings are beastly, unfit for a mule. However, be advised that as a horse, you have the disposition to bear any burden with great equanimity. You also have the capacity to produce fourteen piles of manure each day and quite a sizeable output of urine. I say piss on them. That should do the trick. L.M.



Dear Lord Morris

I hate my job. All I ever do is I go around and around in circles, my head pulled down to my knees. I long to break free, find my inner self, graze in greener pastures. What should I do?





My Dear Fellow,

I entreat you, do not quarrel with fate. ‘Tis better to bear the burden of the plow than toil under false ambitions. But, if you insist upon engaging in rebellion, foolishly believing the grass to be greener on the other side of the fence, allow me to offer up my consul for some job prospects.

Perhaps, the tournament. Nothing like a good run at an opposing force. Then, again, you might consider hauling the cart or carriage, though I have heard that type of work leads to bad feet and flatulence.

War—that’s the place! Let them see firsthand your bravery, your heart and your loyalty to service. We were bred for battle, were we not? Ah, the sound of metal clanking excites an old passion in my loins.

Whatever your career interest, customize yourself to the position. If it’s a sweet, young lass you wish upon your back, change your name to Buttercup and be excessively polite. Take treats gently without removing any fingers as this establishes trust. Whatever your choice, aim high, but be realistic. I dare say there’s no such thing as a unicorn and a pony will never win at joust.

I send along an old resume herewith, to help you in your efforts. It details my work history before I took up rule here in Tryon, a small kingdom in America. Alas, so far away from the roots of my noble soul, but such are life’s vicissitudes.



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© Barry Rosenberg