BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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34
BLACK BEAUTY.
other end of the field; there I turned round and saw my persecutor slowly rising from the ground and going into the stable. I stood under an oak tree and watched, but no one came to catch me. The time went on, and the sun was very hot; the flies swarmed round me and settled on my bleeding flanks where the spurs had dug in. I felt hungry, for I had not eaten since the early morning, but there was not enough grass in that meadow for a goose to live on. I wanted to lie down and rest, but with the sad­dle strapped tightly on there was no comfort, and there was not a drop of water to drink. The afternoon wore on, and the sun got low. I saw the other colts led in, and I knew they were having a good feed.
" At last, just as the sun went down, I saw the old mas­ter come out with a sieve in his hand. He was a very fine old gentleman with quite white hair, but his voice was what I should know him by amongst a thousand. It was not high, nor yet low, but full and clear and kind, and when he gave orders it was so steady and decided that every one knew, both horses and men, that he expected to be obeyed. He came quietly along, now and then, shaking the oats about that he had in the sieve, and speaking cheerfully and gently to me: ' Come along, lassie, come along, lassie; come along, come along.' I stood still and let him come up; he held the oats to me, and I began to eat without fear; his voice took all my fear away. He stood by, pat­ting and stroking me while I was eating, and seeing the clots of blood on my side he seemed very vexed. ' Poor lassie! it was a bad business, a bad business I' Then he quietly took the rein and led me to the stable; just at the door stood Samson. I laid my ears back and snapped at him. ' Stand back,' said the master,' and keep out of her way; you've done a bad day's work for this filly.' He growled out something about a vicious brute. l Hark ye,' said the father, ' a bad-tempered man will never make a good-tempered horse. You've not learned your trade yet,
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