BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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before a little looking-glass in the harness-room. When his master was speaking to him it was always " Yes, sir; yes, sir "—touching his hat at every word; and every one thought he was a very nice young man, and that Mr. Barry was very fortunate to meet with him. I should say he was the laziest, most conceited fellow I ever came near. Of course it was a great thing not to be ill-used, but then a horse wants more than that. I had a loose box, and might have been very comfortable if he had not been too indolent to clean it out. He never took all the straw away, and the smell from what lay underneath was very bad; while the strong vapors that rose made my eyes smart and inflame, and I did not feel the same appetite for my food.
One day his master came in and said, " Alfred, the stable smells rather strong; should not you give that stall a good scrub, and throw down plenty of water?"
"Well, sir," he said, "touching his cap, "I'll do so if you please, sir; but it is rather dangerous, sir, throwing down water in a horse's box; they are very apt to take cold, sir. I should not like to do him an injury, but I'll do it if you please, sir."
" Well," said his master, " I should not like him to take cold, but I don't like the smell of this stable. Do you think the drains are all right ?"
" Well, sir, now you mention it, I think the drain does sometimes send back a smell; there may be something wrong, sir."
" Then send for the bricklayer and have it seen to," said his master.
"Yes, sir, I will."
The bricklayer came, and pulled up a great many bricks, but found nothing amiss; so he put down some lime, and charged the master five shillings, and the smell in my box was as bad as ever. But that was not all: standing as I did on a quantity of moist straw, my feet grew unhealthy and tender, and the master used to say,—
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