If you've ever seen a horse simply tip-toeing around, carefully trotting and yet making little sound, then it was probably Horace, a horse who had no shoes, trotting here and there with lots of ouch's and oo's! He tried to keep up with his friends on parade as a tip-toeing horse, what a spectacle he made. When they stood to attention in their nice neat lines, Horace would sneak in and hide far behind. He was asked, one day, “Why do you have bare feet, would horse shoes not be better, especially in this heat?” He said, “You may be right but I am really in a pickle for I have such sensitive feet and I can't bear to be tickled!” “How about we hypnotize you till you're feeling drowsy, then you wouldn't feel a thing and wouldn’t that be cozy?” “Shall we give it a try”, they asked, “and see how well it works, surely it'll be better for you than nasty mocking looks?” So the doctor said, “You're feeling sleepy; one, two, three and when I count to six, you will be fast asleep, you’ll see”. What a surprise, he closed his eyes and Horace had a snooze, the blacksmith got to work and gave him shiny new shoes. When Horace woke back up and started walking about, he gave a rather startled and quite almighty shout. No longer on his tip-toes but boldly on the trot, his feet were making loud and proud, clip clippety-clops. He ran around the courtyard and cried, “YIPPEE!” and more, he clippety-clopped out to the parade and the crowd gave a mighty roar. He marched right up to the front of the line and proudly tapped his feet, so they made a space and he stood in line, now proudly ready to greet. The Queen appeared and walked the line in her sparkling jeweled crown, until she came to Horace where she stopped and looked up and down. “What nice shiny shoes you have” and she rubbed him on his shoulders and from that day he proudly carried The Queen as she rode with her soldiers! * Written by Darren Scanlon, 16th April 2014. Revised 2nd September 2015. Artwork by Angie Caira. ©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.