Page:Black Beauty (1877).djvu/31

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27
A FAIR START.

"Would you like Ebony?" said she, "he is as black as ebony."

"No, not Ebony."

"Will you call him 'Blackbird,' like your uncle's old horse?"

"No, he is far handsomer than old Blackbird ever was."

"Yes," she said, "he is really quite a beauty, and he has such a sweet good-tempered face and such a fine intelligent eye—what do you say to calling him 'Black Beauty?'"

"Black Beauty, why yes, I think that is a very good name; if you like, it shall be his name," and so it was.

When John went into the stable, he told James that master and mistress had chosen a good sensible English name for me, that meant something, not like Marengo, or Pegasus, or Abdallah. They both laughed, and James said, "If it was not for bringing back the past, I should have named him 'Rob Roy,' for I never saw two horses more alike."

"That's no wonder," said John, "didn't you know that farmer Grey's old Duchess was the mother of them both?"

I had never heard that before, and so poor Rob Roy who was killed at that hunt was my brother! I did not wonder that my mother was so troubled. It seems that horses have no relations; at least, they never know each other after they are sold.

John seemed very proud of me; he used to make my mane and tail almost as smooth as a lady's hair,