Black Beauty

  • Part I

  • 1 My Early Home

  • Narrator

    The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it.

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  • Some shady trees leaned over it, and rushes and water-lilies grew at the deep end.

  • Over the hedge on one side we looked into a plowed field, and on the other we looked over a gate at our master at the top of the meadow was a grove of fir trees, and at the bottom a running brook overhung by a steep bank.

  • Narrator

    While I was young I lived upon my mother.

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  • In the daytime I ran by her side, and at night I lay down close by her.

  • When it was hot we used to stand by the pond in the shade of the trees, and when it was cold we had a nice warm shed near the grove.

  • Narrator

    As soon as I was old enough to eat grass my mother used to go out to work in the daytime, and come back in the evening.

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  • There were six young colts in the meadow besides me;

  • they were older than I was;

  • some were nearly as large as grown-up horses.

  • I used to run with them, and had great fun;

  • we used to gallop all together round and round the field as hard as we could go.

  • Sometimes we had rather rough play, for they would frequently bite and kick as well as gallop.

  • Narrator

    One day, when there was a good deal of kicking, my mother whinnied to me to come to her, and then she said:

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  • Profile Picture of Mother in Black Beauty


    “I wish you to pay attention to what I am going to say to you.

  • The colts who live here are very good colts, but they are cart-horse colts, and of course they have not learned manners.

  • You have been well-bred and well-born;

  • your father has a great name in these parts, and your grandfather won the cup two years at the Newmarket races;