HOW SOME WILD ANIMALS BECAME TAME 199
' Yes,' answered the fox; ' it is a long journey to take for such a thing as that, but you know what the miller's friends are like—so dull and heavy ! It is only kind to go and amuse them a little.'
' You poor fellow,' said the boy pityingly. ' Take my advice and stay at home. If you once enter the miller's gate his dogs will tear you in pieces.'
' Ah, well, such things have occurred, I know,' replied the fox gravely. And without saying any more he trotted off the way he had come.
His tail had scarcely disappeared, when a great noise of crashing branches was heard, and up bounded the horse, his black skin glistening like satin.
' Good-morning,' he called to the boy as he galloped past, ' I can't wait to talk to you now. I have promised the miller to be present at his wedding-feast, and they won't sit down till I come.'
' Stop ! stop !' cried the boy after him, and there was something in his voice that made the horse pull up. ' What is the matter ? ' asked he.
' You don't know what you are doing,' said the boy. ' If once you go there you will never gallop through these woods any more. You are stronger than many men, but they will catch you and put ropes round you, and you will have to work and to serve them all the days of your life.'
The horse threw back his head at these words, and laughed scornfully.
' Yes, I am stronger than many men,' answered he, ' and all the ropes in the world would not hold me. Let them bind me as fast as they will, I can always break loose, and return to the forest and freedom.'
And with this proud speech he gave a whisk of his long tail, and galloped away faster than before.
But when he reached the miller's house everything happened as the boy had said. While he was looking at the guests and thinking how much handsomer and stronger