There is a man in the village who is kind to his animals. I saw him again this morning. His horse and sleigh were parked outside the mayor’s building, and his wife and baby were in it, waiting for him. His wife sat as if she were watching television, and the kid was alternately standing and sitting – this is still new to him, and he’s wearing a snowsuit, which makes him almost as wide as he is tall. The horse is stop-and-stare beautiful. He’s a deep brown with a touch of red, and his fur is so thick and clean that it stands out straight, like inch-thick velvet. His body is short, with very long legs, and he’s quite strong. No dents in his chest from the sleigh rigging, no scars from a switch. And then the man came out of the Akim’s and his dog ran toward him from behind the building and followed him within kicking distance, without doing the skittery dance most dogs here do in the presence of people. He ran on all four legs and kept his ears up. Rare.