Beautiful Joe
Chapter 25, Page 4

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Please be aware that this book was originally published in 1894 and may contain words, descriptions, or other passages that may be considered offensive today.


CHAPTER XXV: A HAPPY HORSE (continued)

"She was probably trained by some brutal man who inspired her with distrust of the human species. She never bites an animal, and seems attached to all the other horses. She loves Fleetfoot and Cleve and Pacer. Those three are her favorites."

"I love to go for drives with Cleve and Pacer," said Miss Laura, "they are so steady and good. Uncle says they are the most trusty horses he has. He has told me about the man you had, who said that those two horses knew more than most 'humans.'"

"That was old Davids," said Mr. Harry; "when we had him, he was courting a widow who lived over in Hoytville. About once a fortnight, he'd ask father for one of the horses to go over to see her. He always stayed pretty late, and on the way home he'd tie the reins to the whip-stock and go to sleep, and never wake up till Cleve or Pacer, whichever one he happened to have, would draw up in the barnyard. They would pass any rigs they happened to meet, and turn out a little for a man. If Davids wasn't asleep, he could always tell by the difference in their gait which they were passing. They'd go quickly past a man, and much slower, with more of a turn out, if it was a team. But I dare say father told you this. He has a great stock of horse stories, and I am almost as bad. You will have to cry 'halt,' when we bore you."

"You never do," replied Miss Laura. "I love to talk about animals. I think the best story about Cleve and Pacer is the one that uncle told me last evening. I don't think you were there. It was about stealing the oats."

"Cleve and Pacer never steal," said Mr. Harry. "Don't you mean Scamp? She's the thief."

"No, it was Pacer that stole. He got out of his box, uncle says, and found two bags of oats, and he took one in his teeth and dropped it before Cleve, and ate the other himself, and uncle was so amused that he let them eat a long time, and stood and watched them."

"That was a clever trick," said Mr. Harry. "Father must have forgotten to tell me. Those two horses have been mates ever since I can remember, and I believe if they were separated, they'd pine away and die. You have noticed how low the partitions are between the boxes in the horse stable. Father says you wouldn't put a lot of people in separate boxes in a room, where they couldn't see each other, and horses are just as fond of company as we are. Cleve and Pacer are always nosing each other. A horse has a long memory. Father has had horses recognize him, that he has been parted from for twenty years. Speaking of their memories reminds me of another good story about Pacer that I never heard till yesterday, and that I would not talk about to any one but you and mother. Father wouldn't write me about it, for he never will put a line on paper where any one's reputation is concerned."