Chapter 5: A Fair Start
I had never heard that before; and so poor Rob Roy
who was killed at that hunt was my brother! I did not wonder
that my mother was so troubled. It seems that horses have no relations;
at least they never know each other after they are sold.
John seemed very proud of me; he used to make my mane and tail
almost as smooth as a lady's hair, and he would talk to me a great deal;
of course I did not understand all he said, but I learned more and more
to know what he meant, and what he wanted me to do. I grew very fond of him,
he was so gentle and kind; he seemed to know just how a horse feels,
and when he cleaned me he knew the tender places and the ticklish places;
when he brushed my head he went as carefully over my eyes
as if they were his own, and never stirred up any ill-temper.
James Howard, the stable boy, was just as gentle and pleasant in his way,
so I thought myself well off. There was another man who helped in the yard,
but he had very little to do with Ginger and me.
A few days after this I had to go out with Ginger in the carriage.
I wondered how we should get on together; but except laying her ears back
when I was led up to her, she behaved very well. She did her work honestly,
and did her full share, and I never wish to have a better partner
in double harness. When we came to a hill, instead of slackening her pace,
she would throw her weight right into the collar, and pull away straight up.
We had both the same sort of courage at our work, and John had oftener
to hold us in than to urge us forward; he never had to use the whip
with either of us; then our paces were much the same,
and I found it very easy to keep step with her when trotting,
which made it pleasant, and master always liked it when we kept step well,
and so did John. After we had been out two or three times together
we grew quite friendly and sociable, which made me feel very much at home.