Page:The Modern Art of Taming Wild Horses.djvu/11

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7
INTRODUCTION.

careful of the children as of the colt. Such is the mutual attachment between the horse and his master, that he will leave his companions at his master's call, ever glad to obey his voice. And when the Arab falls from his horse, and is unable to rise again, he will stand by him and neigh for assistance; and if he lies down to sleep, as fatigue sometimes compels him to do in the midst of the desert, his faithful steed will watch over him, and neigh to arouse him if man or beast approaches. The Arabs frequently teach their horses secret signs or signals, which they make use of on urgent occasions to call forth their utmost exertions. These are more efficient than the barbarous mode of urging them on with the spur and whip, a forcible illustration of which will be found in the following anecdote:—

A Bedouin, named Jabal, possessed a mare of great celebrity. Hassan Pasha, then governor of Damascus, wished to buy the animal, and repeatedly made the owner the most liberal offers, which Jabal steadily refused. The pasha then had recourse to threats, but with no better success. At length, one Gafar, a Bedouin of another tribe, presented himself to the pasha, and asked what he would give the man who should make him master of JabaPs mare? "I will fill his horse's nose-bag with gold," replied Hassan. The result of this interview having gone abroad, Jabal became more watchful than ever, and always secured his mare at night with an iron chain, one