Happiness, thought Blurtso, sitting on his haunches with his boxing-glove nose supported on his front left hoof. I see the others, he thought, moving here and there, sniffing and peering, obeying and straying, leading and following with a need on the pillow, a need that stirs them in the morning and settles them in the night. And somehow the reward emerges, from the silence and babble, from above or below, a series of notes rising, repeating in the sound of hoof after hoof after hoof.
Blurtso did not always wake with joy in his heart. In fact sometimes he was downright morose. This was one of those days. What’s the point, thought Blurtso, of one more morning and one more afternoon, and all those minutes in between. What’s the point of all that effort? Despite his spirit the sun was rising and the dew was shining on the grass. Well… he said without enthusiasm, here I go, putting one hoof in front of another… and another… and another. The sun was soaking the grass and Blurtso could feel the dew on his ankles, and the spongy earth added a bounce to his gait. Hmmmm, thought Blurtso, enjoying the bounce and the hop and feeling the air in his lungs. His shoulders and haunches grew warm and his hoofs moved easily across the field. That’s better thought Blurtso, skimming his nose on the grass, that’s more like it he said, slipping into a trot, that’s the point, he said with a smile, that’s what it is, he said, hopping and skipping across the field.