200 HOW SOME WILD ANIMALS BECAME TAME
he was than any of them, a rope was suddenly flung over his head, and he was thrown down and a bit thrust between his teeth. Then, in spite of his struggles, he was dragged to a stable, and shut up for several days without any food, till his spirit was broken and his coat had lost its gloss. After that he was harnessed to a plough, and had plenty of time to remember all he had lost through not listening to the counsel of the boy.
When the horse had turned a deaf ear to his words the boy wandered idly along, sometimes gathering wild strawberries from a bank, and sometimes plucking wild cherries from a tree, till he reached a clearing in the middle of the forest. Crossing this open space was a beautiful milk-white cow with a wreath of flowers round her neck.
' Good-morning,' she said pleasantly, as she came up to the place where the boy was standing.
' Good-morning,' he returned. ' Where are you going in such a hurry ? '
' To the miller's wedding; I am rather late already, for the wreath took such a long time to make, so I can't stop.'
' Don't go,' said the boy earnestly ; ' when once they have tasted your milk they will never let you leave them, and you will have to serve them all the days of your life.' ' Oh, nonsense; what do you know about it ?' answered the cow, who always thought she was wiser than other people. ' Why, I can run twice as fast as any of them ! I should like to see anybody try to keep me against my will.' And, without even a polite bow, she went on her way, feeling very much offended.
But everything turned out just as the boy had said. The company had all heard of the fame of the cow's .milk, and persuaded her to give them some, and then her doom was sealed. A crowd gathered round her, and held her horns so that she could not use them, and, like the horse, she was shut in the stable, and only let out in the