This one’s another Xanth cover, so I’m tempted to excuse it. Then I see that the damsel on the right is posed so that she’s not accomplishing anything except showing the inside of her thighs. Good art direction, sir!
It’s probably a fool’s errand to question physics in a scene that features a butterfly winged mermaid with righteous sideburns and riding a purple unicorn… BUT how is that wooden cart supporting the weight of a statue that no doubt weighs thousands of pounds? It also looks extremely top-heavy. With a 2-wheeled cart it would never stay balanced.
This being a Darrell K. Sweet cover it is generically unrealistic and what not, but still…the yoke is so short the man who is actually trying to move said unbalanced cart would have to take tiny little steps. Even then the wheel would probably catch his heel. While the two women make things even more difficult.”What? Not heavy enough. Here, I’ll jump on the cart while she pulls sideways upon it.” How long ddo you think it was before he used that huge sword of his to bring the journey to a tragic but personally satisfying end?
The mermaid simply is not balanced. If the tail were her right leg and she had a left leg to match, then yes, she’d be seated comfortably – straight on, that is, not side-saddle. (And indeed, my guess is the pose is stolen from reference of a woman seated on a horse.) As it is, she’s hopelessly lopsided and not even fluttering her rather skew-angled wings at speed is going to prevent her from falling off immediately.
I have no idea how side-saddle riding works, but my guess is it’s not like that.