If only my parents had been more conscientious about being present at my birth…
As it was, it was left entirely up to ME to present myself as breech to the midwife. I was soon considered runt of the litter by everybody in the Pepys household. MOI – with my squint eye, bowed legs and mild dwarfism. But, these apparent deficiencies were little more than inconveniences, which suited me in a perverse kind of way, because I soon realized they could be turned to my advantage!
Bowed legs for example, are the bees knees for riding a horse. They cling like a limpet, giving a girl the confidence she needs to ride her stallion. A full canter over Salisbury Plain was sorely enough, to do the trick. It introduced me to the THING boys were after. When I found out how much it really meant to them, the fun and games really started. Though I say it myself, I am a terrible tease!
Eventually, my parents received news of my difficult birth through the grapevine, and had the grace to commission a local artist to paint out any false impressions. The portrait gives such a rosy a picture of me, that a distant relative was even persuaded to ask for my hand in marriage!
The marriage proposal was rejected, but it shows what fools men are, to focus exclusively on a woman’s exterior, with no consideration for her beating heart. Truth is, it make our lives a lot easier. The plainest of women may use fabric and finery, to pull the wool over a man’s eyes!