Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: “Fetched Several Short Ones”

“The first time I ever remember seeing ‘Abe’ Lincoln,” is the testimony of one of his neighbors, “was when I was a small boy and had gone with my father to attend some kind of an election. One of the neighbors, James Larkins, was there.

“Larkins was a great hand to brag on anything he owned. This time it was his horse. He stepped up before ‘Abe,’ who was in a crowd, and commenced talking to him, boasting all the while of his animal.

“‘I have got the best horse in the country,’ he shouted to his young listener. ‘I ran him nine miles in exactly three minutes, and he never fetched a long breath.’

“‘I presume,’ said ‘Abe,’ rather dryly, ‘he fetched a good many short ones, though.’”