Lunchtime read: The Best Short Stories

The blurb on the back cover says that this story is Kipling’s most well known and in a way it reminds you in style of The Ship that Found Herself with the voices in the narrative belonging not to men but to polo ponies in the case of this tale and the ships component parts in the case of the other example.

The Maltese Cat
This starts with a discussion about a forthcoming cup polo match and you assume it’s the players talking to each other but it turns out to be the horses and the leader of the team the Maltese Cat masterminds a victory that involves an injury to both horse and master. There is a great pace about the story with the inevitable victory coming at quite a cost.

The decision to let the horses do most of the talking is a brave one that really works although you sense that animals might not always conform to behaviour patterns of male rugby players.

The Kipling will keep coming tomorrow…

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