BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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my back; he saw it in a minute and went for another, which fitted nicely. He rode me first slowly, then a trot, then a canter, and when we were on the common he gave me a light touch with his whip, and we had a splendid gallop.
" Ho, ho! my boy," he said, as he pulled me up, " you would like to follow the hounds, I think."
We came back through the park and met the Squire and Mrs. Gordon walking; they stopped and John jumped off.
" Well, John, how does he go?"
" First-rate, sir," answered John; " he is as fleet as a deer, and has a line spirit, too; but the lightest touch of the rein will guide him. Down at the end of the com­mon we met one of those travelling carts hung all over with baskets, rugs, and such like; you know, sir, many horses will not pass those carts quietly; he just took a good look at it, and then went on as quiet and pleasant as could be. They were shooting rabbits near the High-wood, and a gun went off close by; he pulled up a little and looked, but did not stir a step to right or left. I just held the rein steady and did not hurry him, and it's my opinion he has not been frightened or ill-used while he was young."
" That's well," said the Squire; " I will try him myself to-morrow."
The next day I was brought up for my master. I re­membered my mother's counsel and my good old master's, and I tried to do exactly what he wanted me to do. I found he was a very good rider, and thoughtful for his horse, too. When he came home, the lady was at the hall-door as he rode up.
" Well, my dear," she said, "how do you like him?"
" He is exactly what John said,'' he replied; " a pleas-anter creature I never wish to mount. What shall we call him?"
"Would you like ' Ebony?' " said she; " he is as black as ebony."
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