Fables, by Robert Louis Stevenson

XIV. - The Cart-Horses and the Saddle-Horse.

Two cart-horses, a gelding and a mare, were brought to Samoa, and put in the same field with a saddle-horse to run free on the island. They were rather afraid to go near him, for they saw he was a saddle-horse, and supposed he would not speak to them. Now the saddle-horse had never seen creatures so big. “These must be great chiefs,” thought he, and he approached them civilly. “Lady and gentleman,” said he, “I understand you are from the colonies. I offer you my affectionate compliments, and make you heartily welcome to the islands.”

The colonials looked at him askance, and consulted with each other.

“Who can he be?” said the gelding.

“He seems suspiciously civil,” said the mare.

“I do not think he can be much account,” said the gelding.

“Depend upon it he is only a Kanaka,” said the mare.

Then they turned to him.

“Go to the devil!” said the gelding.

“I wonder at your impudence, speaking to persons of our quality!” cried the mare.

The saddle-horse went away by himself. “I was right,” said he, “they are great chiefs.”

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Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:30