The sunlight flickered through the leaves and the water burbled rhythmically through the gates of the lock and the wind whistled through the reeds and Toby sighed.

The timbers creaked on the line boat and the ropes thunked against the side of the canal and a train whistle sounded in the distance and Toby sighed louder.

"Sure, it's peaceful and all that, but dear LORD, is it tedious!"

The mudbray next to him flicked its ears in response.

Toby sighed a third time and rubbed the pokemon's neck, deep in thought. The job had been exciting at first - hoggee on a canal! Traveling to far off places, working outdoors every day...but when it came down to it, it was the mudbray who did the real work. It was the one who pulled the boat and all Toby would do was walk next to it, stopping it occasionally to let a lock fill up.

He wanted the exhilaration of wind on his face! The rush of adrenaline that came with high speeds and thrilling races! He loved his mudbray, but deep down, he sometimes longed for a rapidash to ride, one that could run so fast it almost looked like it could fly, flames from its tail streaming out behind it as it left others in its wake.

But...mudbrays were sturdy and strong, less likely to get strained or hurt pulling the heavy boats through the canal. They were the practical choice.

An idea came to him in such a flash that he cut himself off mid-sigh. The next lock was opening and the mudbray began to plod obediently forward, its harness tightening as the rope became taught.

Toby fished in his pocket and drew out a carrot. "What do you say we speed this up a little, eh?" He jogged a ways in front and dangled the carrot enticingly.

The mudbray glared at him, making no attempt to change its speed.

He walked back to it, disappointed, but not disheartened. "Come on, I've seen you gallop before, you can do it! Even a little trot will do!"

It snorted dismissively.

Frustrated, Toby gave it a solid smack on its flank, hard enough to get it going, but not hard enough to hurt. "Giddyup!"

Without so much as braying or slowing its pace, the mudbray lashed out its back legs and kicked Toby cleanly in the stomach, sending him flying over the line boat and splashing into the canal behind.

The mudbray resumed its pace, munching quietly on the carrot that Toby had dropped.