BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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164                              BLACK BEAUTY,
life was now full of suffering, and I could tell by the heaving of her sides, and her frequent cough, how bad her breath was.
Our drivers were standing together a little way off, so I sidled up to her a step or two, that we might have a little quiet talk. It was a sad tale that she had to tell.
After a twelve-month's run off at Earlshall she was con≠sidered to be fit for work again, and was sold to a gentle≠man. For a little while she got on very well, but after a longer gallop than usual the old strain returned, and after being rested and doctored she was again sold. In this way she changed hands several times, but always getting lower down.
" And so at last," said she, " I was bought by a man who keeps a number of cabs and horses, and lets them out. You look well off, and I am glad of it, but I could not tell you what my life has been. When they found out my weakness, they said I was not worth what they gave for me, and that I must go into one of the low cabs, and just be used up ; that is what they are doing, whipping and working with never one thought of what I sufferóthey paid for me and must get it out of me, they say. The man who hires me now pays a deal of money to the owner every day, and so he has to get it out of me, too; and so it's all the week round and round, with never a Sunday rest."
I said, "You used to stand up for yourself if you were ill-used."
"Ah!" she said, " I did once, but it's no use; men are strongest, and if they are cruel and have no feeling, there is nothing that we can do but just bear itóbear it on and on to the end. I wish the end was come; I wish I was dead. I have seen dead horses, and I am sure they do not suffer pain. I wish I may drop down dead at my work, and not be sent off to the knacker's."
I was very much troubled, and I put my nose up to hers, but I could say nothing to comfort her. I think she was
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