Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: n SHOEING At the blacksmith's shop the bay mare Betty is being fitted to new shoes. Already the fore feet are nicely shod and the blacksmith now has the near hind foot in hand. The other occupants of the place are a small donkey and the bloodhound Laura. Betty is a sensible horse and enjoys the shoeing process. When the time comes around for her regular visit to the forge, she walks off of her own accord and unattended to the familiar spot. No halter is necessary to keep her standing; in fact, she would not tolerate such an indignity. She takes her place by the window as if perfectly at home. Blacksmith and horse are old friends who understand each other well. The man has won the animal's confidence by the care he has taken to fit the shoes comfortably. Though a plain, rough fellow, he is of a kindly nature and knows his business thoroughly. The shop is a quaint little place such as one finds in English villages. The thick masonry of the walls shows how old the building is; the floor is paved with krge blocks of stone. Between the anvil and the forge there is only space enough for the horse to stand. Yet all the necessary tools are at hand, and a good blacksmith may shoe a horse as well here as in the most elaborate city establishment. At this stage of the process the preparations are all over. The old shoes were first removed and the feet pared and filed. New shoes were chosen as near the right size as possible, and one by one shaped for each foot. Holding the shoe in his long tongs, the blacksmith thrusts it into the fire, while he fans the flames with the bellows. Thence it is transferred, a glowing red crescent, to the anvil. Now the workman swings his hammer upon it with ringing strokes, the sparks fly out in a shower, and the soft metal is shaped at will. Th..