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Mark Twain – A Horse’s Tale

I am Buffalo Bill鈥檚 horse.聽 I have spent my life under his saddle鈥攚ith him in it, too, and he is good for two hundred pounds, without his clothes; and there is no telling how much he does weigh when he is out on the war-path and has his batteries belted on.聽 He is over six feet, is young, hasn鈥檛 an ounce of waste flesh, is straight, graceful, springy in his motions, quick as a cat, and has a handsome face, and black hair dangling down on his shoulders, and is beautiful to look at; and nobody is braver than he is, and nobody is stronger, except myself.聽 Yes, a person that doubts that he is fine to see should see him in his beaded buck-skins, on my back and his rifle peeping above his shoulder, chasing a hostile trail, with me going like the wind and his hair streaming out behind from the shelter of his broad slouch.聽 Yes, he is a sight to look at then鈥攁nd I鈥檓 part of it myself.

I am his favorite horse, out of dozens.聽 Big as he is, I have carried him eighty-one miles between nightfall and sunrise on the scout; and I am good for fifty, day in and day out, and all the time.聽 I am not large, but I am built on a business basis.聽 I have carried him thousands and thousands of miles on scout duty for the army, and there鈥檚 not a gorge, nor a pass, nor a valley, nor a fort, nor a trading post, nor a buffalo-range in the whole sweep of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains that we don鈥檛 know as well as we know the bugle-calls.聽 He is Chief of Scouts to the Army of the Frontier, and it makes us very important.聽 In such a position as I hold in the military service one needs to be of good family and possess an education much above the common to be worthy of the place.聽 I am the best-educated horse outside of the hippodrome, everybody says, and the best-mannered.聽 It may be so, it is not for me to say; modesty is the best policy, I think.聽 Buffalo Bill taught me the most of what I know, my mother taught me much, and I taught myself the rest.聽 Lay a row of moccasins before me鈥擯awnee, Sioux, Shoshone, Cheyenne, Blackfoot, and as many other tribes as you please鈥攁nd I can name the tribe every moccasin belongs to by the make of it.聽 Name it in horse-talk, and could do it in American if I had speech.

EText-No. 1086
Title: A Horse’s Tale
Author: Twain, Mark, 1835-1911
Language: English
Link: etext97/hrstl10h.htm

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