Saturday, 24 December 2011

Mikelmerck - Duchy ponies

Duchy pony.  Note the heavy feathering, long mane and tail and generally hardy demeanour.
Travel is difficult in Mikelmerck.  Without the incredibly tough Duchy pony, some places would be entirely inaccessible - a fact that sheep have been using to their advantage for centuries.  Luckily, the Duchy pony exists and thrives.  Outsiders often comment that they have much in common with mules - namely they are remarkably stubborn.  Mikelmerckians agree, but add that they are also incredibly sure-footed, very loyal and possess some kind of second sight.  All these attributes far outweigh an occasional refusal to move.

As transport goes, a Duchy pony is not fast.  They are great weight-carriers however, and in the high days of lead mining, trains of them were used to carry the lead out of the mines and down the dales.  Farmers have long relied on them as well.  It is said that a good pony can carry an entire family all day without tiring.  For many families, the ownership of such a pony is a major ambition.  Lucky the son or daughter who is gifted one as part of a dowry.

Nobody would dream of trying to stable a Duchy pony.  They can live on very little and ignore all but the most brutal weather entirely.  They also to have a strong connection to the Older.  Shifting land, unexpected changes in the weather and boundary breakages are all noticed by these beasts and their owners do well to heed their warnings.

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