JM Williams

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Discworld 37 – Quotes on Horses



I am nearing the end of the book, I think. It’s hard to tell with an audiobook, since never actually look at what track is playing. I always get a little sad when I know the story is coming to an end.

During my last listen-through, a particularly funny line caught my attention and then I ended up thinking about horses all day. Gods know why, I never cared much for horses myself. I’m more of a wolf person. But I even got a story stuck in my head that I’m going to write after this post. (Stay tuned!)

Anyways, here are a few Pratchett quotes about horses:

“Contrary to popular belief and hope, people don’t usually come running when they hear a scream. That’s not how humans work. Humans look at other humans and say, ‘Did you hear a scream?’ because the first scream might just have been you screaming inside your head, or a horse backfiring.”

This was the quote that made me chuckle. I don’t know what’s funny about a horse backfiring, whether it’s just the absurdity of it or that I can picture it regardless and even see the crotchety grey-haired old driver that is having problems with his cart. It’s also funny because it has nothing to do with its precedent. I don’t know how a person would confuse a scream with a backfire, but there’s a lot to the idea that screams do not, as the common wisdom suggests, bring people running.

“She had stopped pushing her luck a long time ago. Now it was out of control, like a startled carthorse that can’t stop because of the huge load bouncing and rumbling along behind it.”

This one and next are a bit philosophical. Here is a good metaphor for losing control, or letting your ego get ahead of you.

” ‘It’s rather like being a carthorse,’ said Vetinari. ‘After a while one ceases to notice, it’s just the way of life.’ “

One thing I love about Pratchett is his ability to distill human idiosyncrasies, the human experience, into easy to understand states by using ridiculous analogies. It is true that humans are creatures of habit, and they will stick to behaviors they are familiar with, even if those behaviors are negative or even harmful. Often in his books, the character Vetinari is the one offering these bits of sage advice.

Hope you guys enjoyed these quotes. I will be posting my horse-related story soon.


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