The Baldwin Library
ADVENTURES F A HORSE.
N a fine evening in Autumn, a number of Horses
S and Mares were enjoying themselves in a meadow
belonging to a large farm. The sun shone
brightly over the fields, where the grain had
/ already been cut, and lay in sheaves ready for
carrying home. It was harvest time, and the
last wagon, laden with corn, was slowly creak-
ing home, drawn by two Oxen for the farm of which I
am telling you was in the east of Germany, where Oxen
are frequently used for drawing the plough, the wagon, and
ADVENTURES OF A HORSE,
By the side of one of the Mares ran and frisked a little Foal. It
is the story of this Foal that I am going to tell you in this book. The
little thing had been born about three weeks before, and had been
named Brownie, because of its beautiful light brown skin.
Peter, the ploughboy, set great store by the little Foal. He made
it a fine collar of leather, to wear round its neck, and a bell which
rang ting, ting, whenever the Foal moved. In the evening, after the
day's work was over, the Horses used to be taken to the wayside well
to drink; and then little Brownie always went with them, running
beside his mother.
IN PEACE AND IN WAR.
HIS pleasant life went on for a time; but as Brownie
grew to be a large, tall Horse, it became requisite
That he should work for his living. So, after
Peter had exercised him for some time in the
meadows, and taught him to obeyrtis master's
voice, the young Horse was taken to the smith's
| to be shod. The smith's forge was one of the
? most useful places in the village; and when Peter could
get a little time to spare, he used to be fond of blowing
the great bellows for the smith. Here, then, Brownie
got his first pair of shoes for his forelegs, and another
pair for his
4 ADVENTURES OF A HORSE,
OON afterwards Brownie had to set out on his
First real day's work. He was to help draw a
wagon, heavily laden with boxes, and goods of
various kinds, from a town at some distance.
At first he set off in great glee, plunging and
dancing, and throwing up his heels. But before
a quarter of the journey was over, and while the
^ two steady Horses were quite fresh and cool, poor
Brownie was all in a foam, and felt ready to dyop with
fatigue. He was just like a boy who begins to learn
his lessons in such a hurry, that he is tired of it before
he is half way through. But, tired or not, the wagon
drawn home; and, moreover, there were two or three high
IN PEACE AND IN WAR.
hills to be mounted, before the village could be reached. So the driver
gave a sharp crack with his whip in the air, and another on Brownie's
back, and away they went again.
By this time, the young Horse had learned that to go slowly and
steadily was the best thing he could do. He pursued his way, therefore,
up hill and down dale. But the day was very hot, and the distance
between the baiting places seemed terribly long. Still, however, there
was nothing for it but to go on; for the never-failing whip cracked
whenever Brownie gave the least sign of a rebellious spirit, and, like a
wise Horse, he thought it better to go without beating than with.
Still Brownie thought he had never lived through such a long
day as this first day at work. It seemed as if it would never come to
an end; and he whispered as much to the old Horse next him. But
the old Horse switched his tail, and laughed, and told Brownie it
would be nothing when he was once used to it. This did not give
6 ADVENTURES OF A HORSE,
much comfort to poor toiling Brownie, who thought he should never
in his life become used to such hard work. He little knew what was
in store for him,
At last, just as the sun was setting, the wagon reached the village,
and the Horses were unharnessed. The wagoner's wife, and Brownie's
friend, Peter, were on the look-out to see them come. Peter seized
his father's whip, and scrambled up on Brownie's back, to ride to the
stable, while the wagoner followed, chatting with his wife and his
youngest child. At home, Peter's little sister Mary sat watching at
the wooden gate for the coming of the travellers. And a very merry
evening they had together, while Brownie stood contentedly crunching
his oats in his stable, for they had all done a good day's work.
IN PEACE AND IN WAR. 7
That Winter an event
Sohappened that had very
nearly cost poor Brownie his
life. One of the farm servants
rode him through a thick,
dark wood. In this wood
--- there were Wolves. The
cold weather had made them
fierce; and just as he had got through the thickest part of the wood,
two great Wolves sprang at the wagoner. He luckily spied a little hut
by the wayside, in which
some woodcutters had lived
during the past Summer.
He rushed into this hut,
and shut himself in. Brownie
ran back through th e4vood,
with a lot of Wolves at his
-heels, while the rest remained
snuffing and snarling round the hut in which the wagoner lay hidden.
Brownie was too swift for the Wolves. He managed to get home
before them, and a whole troop of men set out on horseback in search
of the poor wagoner. At length they reached his hiding place, just as
the Wolves were tearing down the door; and the wagoner said he
owed his life to Brownie's swiftness.
!.. t9 1 , 11 1! 11 1
*.5 _~~C' ~"L~
y HE next Spring there was a very strange stir and
.. ,l bustle at the farm. The men on the farm took
to exercising with long guns, and to wearing
breastplates of iron. Twice every week, on
S Wednesday and Saturday, the whole afternoon
was given up to practising firing at a mark,
marching, and counter-.marching ; and even
little Peter stuck a feather in his hat, and beat the drum
lustily, while another boy, who had a talent for music,
sl-- i I_
IN PEACE AND IN WAR,
played a tune on the
fife. At last, one fine
morning, a number
of young men from
town came marching
through the village,
with music playing,
and colours flying.
a oThey halted at the
farm for about an
hour, while one of their officers spoke to the farmer. They were men
who had been obliged to go as soldiers, and the officer was trying to
persuade some of the farm people to join his troops. At last three of
the labourers joined them, and then the whole party marched away.
Brownie, who had been at work at the plough, saw all this with
great wonder; and, when he got home, he stuck his head over the
next stall in the stable, and whispered to an old Horse to know what
it meant. He was an experienced old Horse, to whom all the young
Colts looked up with great respect; for he had been first a trooper's
charger, and then a pack Horse, and had seen a great deal of the
I will tell you what the matter is," said thisold Horse, war
has broken out; and, mark my words, some of us -will have to take
part in it."
Not long afterwards there came dreadful tidings to the quiet farm.
The enemy had advanced into the country, and though the king had
sent his bravest troops against them, the toe had sometimes had the
advantage. One evening the sky was all red with a terrible lurid
glare, and thick clouds of smoke were seen on the horizon. Henric,
ADVENTURES OF A HORSE,
--- .. .. .t b the herd-boy,
h owho had been
'-V.', on one of the
Shills all day with
his cattle, de-
Si cleared, when he
bt t_ came down, that
a large town must be on fire; for that from
the mountain top, he had plainly seen a
steeple flaming and blazing away like a great
torch. This alarmed the inmates of the
farm very much; for they had little doubt
but that it was the enemy who had set the
town on fire. And the event proved that
they were right in their conjectures. A few
days afterwards a number of weary travel-
stained men and boys came marching past
the farm. They carried on their shoulders
little bundles, containing the few things they
had been able to save when the enemy set
their town on fire. They had a piteous
tale to tell, poor fellows, of how they had
been surprised by the foe as they were
asleep, and not thinking of any danger.
They had defended themselves as long as
they could; but the enemy were too
powerful for them, and they were at last
S obliged to give up resistance, after their
homes had been set on fire over their heads. A small party had.
escaped, and came to warn the neighbourhood that the foe would
IN PEACE AND IN WAR.
Soon approach. Hereupon
it was resolved that every-
thing of value should be
carried off from the farm,
f and the building left to its
Sfate. In a day or two all
the farm people marched
away with their flocks and
Sherds, and whatever weapons
a-rrive they could muster.
Brownie had the honour of drawing the wagon in which sat the
farmer's wife, and the youngest children.
younger days, now fell to the lot of our friend Brownie. He became
a trooper's Horse. When the wagon which Brownie helped to draw
arrived at the city in which the farmer's family had taken refuge,
most of the soldiers in the town were preparing to march forth to
meet the foe; and as there was a great want of Horses, Brownie was
at once bought by a young soldier, who was about to start with the
ADVENTURES OF A HORSE,
rest. For a few
I days Brownie was
well exercised to
teach him to stand
the noise of firing,
without starting or
being afraid. He
was "rather heavy
for a cavalry Horse,
our friend Brownie,
but in time of need
people must make
the best of what
they can get.
there was a great blowing
of trumpets, and rattling
-- of arms all over the town.
News had come that the enemy was near, and all the soldiers marched
out to meet
them. It was
a fine sight
to see them
march out of
the city gate,
all with their
oh, there were C... -
IN PEACE AND IN WAR.
some very sad partings between
mothers and sons, and sisters and
brothers, who feared they should
never see each other again. But
duty called them, and they were
proud to go.
War has many hardships.
The Winter that year happened
to be very severe, but there was
no warm comfortable stable for
Brownie. He was compelled to
live in a crazy wooden shed,
built up hastily of some old
planks; and on many days he
had only half his proper allow-
ance of food. But he had no
right to complain, for the soldiers
were still worse off than the
Horses. They had to mount
-~ guard as sentinels in the coldest
nights, when, do what they
S. .would, they could not keep
themselves warm. They were
Never for one instant safe from
an attack of the enemy, and many brave soldiers had already died
from sickness brought on by watching, and by want of proper food.
So, when at last there was a report spread that a great battle would
soon be fought, the news produced great joy among the whole army,
who were heartily tired of the state of things, and wished for a change,
let come what might. So every preparation was made for the battle
which was soon to decide the war.
ADVENTURES OF A HORSE,
It was a very terrible struggle. For hours the two armies fought
with great bravery; and no one could tell who would be the victor
at last. The body of cavalry to which Brownie belonged was called
upon many times to attack the enemy, and drive them back. In each
of these attacks many brave soldiers perished. At last, however, one
grand advance was made, and the enemy were put to flight, after a
contest of many hours. The thunder of the. cannon seemed to shake
the earth, and thousands of men and Horses lay dead and dying on
the plain. Just in the moment of victory, a bullet struck Brownie's
new master, the brave young trooper, who was riding in pursuit of the
enemy. He reeled in his saddle for a moment, and then fell dead.
The poor mother and sister, from whom he had parted only a few
months before, long looked in vain for his return; and many bitter
tears were shed when they heard how the brave soldier had perished.
IN PEACE AND IN WAR.
Brownie did not escape unhurt in the battle. A bullet just grazed
one of his hind legs as it flew by him, and lamed him, though it did
not break the bone. As he limped over the field of battle, after the
fight was over, with no one to own him, and grieving for his poor
master, a foot soldier suddenly seized his bridle, and cried Brownie! "
It was the old wagoner of the farm, who had been obliged to join the
soldiers, and had thus come to take part in the battle. He took
charge of Brownie; and, as the Horse was lame, no one interfered
A few days after, the general of the victorious army made a
triumphal entry into the capital, from which the enemy had fled.
He was in a fine coach with six Horses, and the people shouted to see
16 ADVENTURES OF A HORSE.
him pass. Three months afterwards, an elderly man was seen riding
slowly along a high road, on a wagon Horse, while a second Horse,
slightly lame, walked on by his side. This was the old wagoner,
returning to the quiet farm with Brownie, the war being over, and
As for Brownie, he lived to a good old age, and was much
respected, as a Horse who had been in the wars. He had the lightest
work to do, and the largest measure of oats to eat. He never boasted
of his adventures; but when by chance he heard the sound of a
trumpet, he could not help thinking of the days when he had been a
War Horse, and when the brave young trooper rode him.
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