BLACK BEAUTY - online book

The Autobiography Of A Horse, With Fifty Illustrations.

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JAKES AND THE LADY,                           187
Jakes took the rein. " Come on, Blackie." I put down my head and threw my whole weight against the collar; I spared no strength; the load moved on, and I pulled it steadily up the hill, and then stopped to take breath.
The lady had walked along the footpath, and now came across into the road. She stroked and patted my neck as I had not been patted for many along day.
" You see he was quite willing when you gave him the chance; I am sure he is a fine-tempered creature, and I dare say has known better days. You won't put that rein on again, will you?" for he was just going to hitch it up on the old plan.
"Well, ma'am, I can't deny that having his head has helped him up the hill, and I'll remember it another time, and thank you, ma'am; but if he went without a check-rein I should be the laughing-stock of all the cart­ers; it is the fashion, you see."
" Is it not better," she said, " to lead a good fashion than to follow a bad one ? A great many gentlemen do not use check-reins now; our carriage horses have not worn them for fifteen years, and work with much less fatigue than those who have them; besides," she added in a very serious voice, " we have no right to distress any of God's creatures without a very good reason; we call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words. But I must not detain you now; I thank you for trying my plan with your good horse, and I am sure you will find it far better than the whip. Good-day," and with another soft pat on my neck she stepped lightly across the path, and I saw her no more.
" That was a real lady, I'll be bound for it," said Jakes to himself; " she spoke just as polite as if I was a gentle­man, and I'll try her plan, uphill, at any rate;" and I must do him the justice to say that he let my rein out Several holes, and going uphill after that he always gave
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