In all parts of the world these stripes occur far oftenest in duns and mouse-duns; by the term dun a large range of colour is included, from one between brown and black to a close approach to cream-colour.
I am aware that Colonel Hamilton Smith, who has written on this subject, believes that the several breeds of the horse have descended from several aboriginal species--one of which, the dun, was striped; and that the above-described appearances are all due to ancient crosses with the dun stock.
Gray (and he informs me that he knows of a second case) from the ass and the hemionus; and this hybrid, though the ass seldom has stripes on its legs and the hemionus has none and has not even a shoulder-stripe, nevertheless had all four legs barred, and had three short shoulder-stripes, like those on the dun Welch pony, and even had some zebra-like stripes on the sides of its face.
In the horse we see this tendency strong whenever a dun tint appears--a tint which approaches to that of the general colouring of the other species of the genus.
In the Book of the Dun
Cow, and in another old book called the Book of Leinster, there is written the great Irish legend called the Tain Bo Chuailgne or the Cattle Raid of Cooley.
Now," quoth Arthur a Bland to himself, when he had come to that part of the road that cut through a corner of the forest, "no doubt at this time of year the dun deer are coming from the forest depths nigher to the open meadow lands.
I do much wonder," quoth Little John to himself, "what yon knave is after, that he should go thus peeping and peering about I verily believe that yon scurvy varlet is no better than a thief, and cometh here after our own and the good King's dun deer.
I will follow thee to the ends of the earth, good master, and not a herd of dun deer in all the forest but shall know the sound of the twang of my bowstring.
Meanwhile there was the snow and the low arch of dun
vapor-- there was the stifling oppression of that gentlewoman's world, where everything was done for her and none asked for her aid-- where the sense of connection with a manifold pregnant existence had to be kept up painfully as an inward vision, instead of coming from without in claims that would have shaped her energies.
He lost no time in getting out of the hot sun and into the welcome shade of the forest, where he stalked cautiously about seeking some sign of the dun
When thus skimming across a prairie in the autumn, their light gray or dun
color blends with the hue of the withered herbage, the swiftness of their motion baffles the eye, and they almost seem unsubstantial forms, driven like gossamer before the wind.
Rawdon, with roars of laughter, related a dozen amusing anecdotes of his duns
, and Rebecca's adroit treatment of them.