Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/189

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159
ANECDOTES

them. They were very curious, investigating everything around them, and it did not take long to learn the customs of civilization. They not only learned to eat tame hay, and whinny for their food, but each horse also learned to know his own name and those of his companions. We would place these horses in a row and call out the name of one of them. If he did not immediately respond the other bronchos would bite him to remind him that he should obey orders.


As is usual to a herd, this band of ponies looked to one of their number as the leader. The leader's name was Duke, and when the herd was turned loose in the yard for exercise Duke was evidently commander. In my experience with these wild animals I became convinced that they had different intonations to express different feelings—that they have a language of their own. Their whinnys when happy, when frightened, when angry and as a warning differed greatly, and by careful study could be easily distinguished.


THE KING OF THE HERD

Mr. Cross, a celebrated animal painter, who owns a ranch in Montana, told me that his horses had, at one time, disappeared in great