Jill Has Two Ponies: Abridgements

Jill Has Two Ponies was abridged, though not to such an extent as the first two books. The alterations are relatively minor, and are mostly small changes to update the text, so references to land girls are removed, and Lavender’s Blue is replaced with Thank U Very Much (though both are probably now equally impenetrable to today’s child reader). The most interesting alterations are the removal of the reference to Jill’s mother buying cigarettes, and the reduction in age of the Fisher twins from 12 to 10.

Jill’s mother’s cigarette buying at the station is replaced with a more innocuous statement about railway refreshments (though characteristic: Jill was notably keen on her food).

The age of the Fisher children, whom Jill teaches, is reduced from 12 to 10, which could be because of the difference in how children’s behaviour was perceived in the 1950s and the 1980s, or because Ruby Ferguson’s 12-year-olds were never particularly realistic. It’s an interesting point.

The illustrations were also changed. Knight used Bonar Dunlop to illustrate the book for them, and he produced 11 illustrations. The orignal was illustrated by Caney, and had 23 illustrations.

Many thanks to Hazelhunter on my old forum, who did all the work in this section, comparing the original hardback with the 1980s Knight reprint.

In the section below, the first page number is the first edition and the second number corresponds to the paperback. This list isn’t necessarily definitive: we’ve tried to be as careful as possible, but can make no guarantee about accuracy or completeness.

Text changes

General notes

  • Quotation marks are double in the first edition, single in the paperback.
  • Words such as ‘realised’ and ‘sympathised’ have been spelt with a ‘z’ e.g. ‘realized’ ‘sympathized’.
  • Chapter headings in the paperback have been de-capitalised.
  • The dedication ‘For Priscilla’ has been deleted.


I Meet Rapide

  • Pg 9/7. Forty pounds becomes sixty pounds.
  • Pg 14/17. Reference to ‘Land Girlish’ mode of dressing removed
    • ‘Kirbigrip’ becomes ‘grip’.
  • Pg 17/15. ‘pulling a cross old lady along the front at Eastbourne in a beastly little chair’ has been changed to ‘pulling a miserable old rag and bones man’s cart’.
  • Pg 18/16. Forty pounds becomes sixty pounds.
  • Pg 18/17. ‘Lavender Blue’ becomes ‘Thank U Very Much’.
  • Pg 19/17. ‘Oh no but thank you very much’ changed to ‘Oh no, but it is very kind of you to ask us’.

Oh, why did I buy him?

  • Pg 20/18. Dialogue is removed. ‘‘Mummy said to the girl at the counter, “Have you got any cigarettes please?” but she just said coldly “No cigarettes,” though about five minutes later a young man came in and I saw her give him a packet of Players’ from under the counter’, and replaced with, ‘The sandwiches were not very interesting and the tea tasted stewed, so I left most of my ‘refreshments’. Mummy looked at the remains on my plate and frowned, and I could see that she was wondering about my apparent lack of appetite.’
  • • Pg 21/19. ‘The Horseman’ replaced with ‘Horse and Hound’ (and subsequent references)
  • Dialogue is removed. ‘… “The Horseman”, which is a paper you can never buy on the bookstalls but have to order, and I simply can’t afford the one-and-three a week’, is replaced with, ‘… “Horse and Hound” which is a paper you have to order and I simply can’t afford it.’
  • • Pg 28/25. ‘I couldn’t tell about Saturday, even to my school friend’ has been deleted.
  • • Pg 29/26. ‘when he was in the R.A.F. in the war’ replaced with ‘in an accident’

Rapide is Here

  • • Pg 36/33. ‘soul-less’ to ‘soulless’.
  • • Pg 38/35. ‘twenty-ton tank’ to ‘ton of bricks’.

Some People will do Anything!

  • Pg 41/37. ‘pulling the ends of my plaits’ to ‘nursing my knee’.
  • • Pg 50/47. A STABLE FOR JILL becomes A Stable for Jill.

That Pony Again

  • Pg 51/48. Richmond Horse Show replaced with Royal International Horse Show.
  • Pg 52/49. ‘soul-less’ to ‘soulless’.
  • • Pg 53/49. ‘in a sort of a tramshed’ replaced with ‘in a large, empty hall’.

The Day of the Meet

  • Pg 62/59. Type-written becomes hand-written.
    • RIDINGS becomes RIDING’S.
  • Pg 65/62. ‘The Raggle Taggle Gypsies’ becomes ‘Oh What A Beautiful Morning’.
  • • Pg 67/64. ‘The Tatler’ changed to ‘The Queen’.

Just Ducks

  • Pg 84/80. ‘soul-less’ to ‘soulless’.

Our Christmas

  • Pg 90/86. The phrase ‘And you can see the completed result. Isn’t it super?’ has been deleted.
  • • Pg 93/88. ‘soul-less’ to ‘soulless’.
  • • Pg 96/92. ‘As books often say’ has been deleted.
  • • Pg 99/95. Olympia becomes Wembley

Running the Riding School

  • Pg 100/96. The age of the Fisher twins has been reduced from twelve to ten.
  • Pg 103/100. ‘in a very jerky way’ replaced with ‘jerkily’.
  • Pg 107/105. ‘By now I began to have a great admiration for Wendy’ replaced with: ‘By now I had begun to admire Wendy’
    • ‘…talking to Joey’ has been removed.
  • • Pg 109/107. Olympia replaced with Hickstead.
  • • Pg 111/109. Olympia replaced with Hickstead.

The Three Fats

  • Pg 114/112. ‘the fifteen shillings’ replaced with ‘the money for their lesson’.

Trouble at Ring Hill

  • Pg 126/124. Mack becomes mac.
  • Pg 134/132. Olympia replaced with Hickstead.

A Great Day for All

  • Pg 137/136. Olympia replaced with Wembley.

The Hunter Trials

  • Pg 146/145. Mack becomes mac.
  • Pg 152/151. ‘A beautiful clear round’ changed to: ‘A clear round’.
  • Pg 160/160. THE END has been deleted.

The illustrations


  • Pg 10. Mrs Crewe and Jill being shown Rapide by Mrs Penberthy.
  • Pg 17. Jill on Rapide who is refusing a jump.
  • Pg 22. Jill walking with open arms to meet Black Boy.
  • Pg 23. Jill hugging Black Boy’s neck.
  • Pg 26. Jill cantering Black Boy.
  • Pg 30. Jill talking to Martin in the dining room.
  • Pg 34. Jill holding Rapide who is drinking from a bucket being watched by the porter and the clerk.
  • Pg 37. Jill, Mrs Crewe and ‘the man’ with Winken, Blinken and Nod.
  • Pg 42. Jill on Rapide talking to Mrs Darcy who is leaning on a gate
  • Pg 46. Jill with Rapide in the stall who is shying into Mrs Darcy.
  • Pg 52. Jill riding her bicycle to Mrs Darcy’s.
  • Pg 68. Jill and Ann following the hunt.
  • Pg 71. Jill and Ann digging out Ranter with a fork while Black Boy and George watch.
  • Pg 72. Jill leading Ranter whilst riding Black Boy with Ann riding George.
  • Pg 86. Jill and Diana on Black Boy and Sylvia after the ducks.
  • Pg 90. Black Boy and Rapide looking over the half doors of the new loose boxes. (This is supposedly drawn by Jill herself and helped by ‘The Artist’)
  • Pg 116. Jill, James, Diana, Wendy and ? looking at The Horse and Hound.
  • Pg 117. Jill (or Wendy?) and James sitting on the hurdle watching April, May, and June on the ponies.
  • Pg 123. Jill, Wendy and Ruth watch James jump Blue Smoke over the hedge.
  • Pg 128. Blue Smoke lying in the stable, nursed by Wendy with Jill arriving.
  • Pg 135. Captain Cholly-Sawcutt and Mr Vale standing in the doorway watching Jill holding a bucket.
  • Pg 139. Captain Cholly-Sawcutt sitting on Petronelle signing autographs for Jill and four others.
  • Pg 151. Jill jumping Rapide over a gorse fence.


  • Pg 15. Jill on Rapide’s neck, crashing through a jump and being watched by her Mother and Mrs Penberthy
  • Pg 27. Jill on a piebald Blackboy looking in through the window at Martin
  • Pg 45. Ann doing the dirt track swerve on her bicycle with Jill on her bicycle and the old lady on the footpath
  • Pg 58. Jill watching Rapide eat in the stable
  • Pg 65. The Master about to raise his hat to Jill and Ann in front of The Grinning Mouse.
  • Pg 82. Jill and Diana on the horses after the ducks
  • Pg 97. Mrs Fisher in front of George and Georgina on their ponies
  • Pg 106. Jill talking to Tom Vale
  • Pg 115. Jill sitting on the hurdle talking to James who is watching April, May and June on the ponies
  • Pg 133. Captain Cholly-Sawcutt and Mr Vale standing in the doorway watching Jill holding a bucket.
  • Pg 156/157. Jill on Rapide heading for a gorse fence being watched by Martin, Catherine, Captain Cholly-Sawcutt, and others. A horsebox is being loaded in the background.