Brian Aldiss

An Innovation Concerning Horses

A certain majestic city was adorned with many grand heroic statues from the classical age. These frequently took the form of generals on horseback, waving their swords in triumph.

The youth of the city found the statuary uninteresting. An ingenious mechanic determined to make the statues more lively. Accordingly, he built into the bellies of the horses a mechanism whereby the steed would excrete a load of artificial manure from its anus every ten minutes.

This novel effect attracted many urchins. But the civilized adults were affronted. They preferred classicism to realism. So they committed the ultimate act of realism and killed the mechanic.