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Black Beauty Anna Sewell Oxford Bookworms LibraryLevel 4 A level 4 Oxford Bookworms Library graded reader. Retold for Learners of English by John Escott. When Black Beauty is trained to carry a rider on his back, or to pull a carriage behind him, he finds it hard at first. But he is lucky – his first home is a good one, where his owners are kind people, who would never be cruel to a horse. But in the nineteenth century many people were cruel to their horses, whipping them and beating them, and using them like machines until they dropped dead. Black Beauty soon finds this out, and as he describes his life, he has many terrible stories to tell. Anna Sewell Black Beauty BLACK BEAUTY ‘What more could I want?’ says Black Beauty, as he describes his pleasant home and his kind owners. ‘Freedom! For the first four years of my life I had a large field where I could gallop around at full speed – with no straps, no bit, and no blinkers. Now I stood in a stable, night and day, except when I was wanted for work.’ In the 1870s there was plenty of work for horses – pulling carriages and cabs and carts through crowded cities, along country roads, in all kinds of weather. Black Beauty has been well trained. He knows that he must never bite or kick or run away, and must always do what he is told, however tired or hungry he feels. He always behaves well, but when he is sold, first to one owner, then another, and another, he learns how hard a horse’s life can be, and how stupid and how cruel some people are … Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. 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Oxford University Press disclaims any responsibility for the content ISBN 978 0 19 479166 3 A complete recording of this Bookworms edition of Black Beauty is available on audio CD ISBN 978 0 19 479148 9 Typeset by Wyvern Typesetting Ltd, Bristol Illustrated by: Sally Wern Comport/Shannon Associates Word count (main text): 15,400 words For more information on the Oxford Bookworms Library, visit www.oup.com/bookwormswww.oup.com/bookworms (http://www.oup.com/bookworms) e-Book ISBN 978 0 19 478640 9 e-Book first published 2012 – 1 — My first home The first place I can remember well was a pleasant field with a pond of clear water in it. Trees made shadows over the pond, and water plants grew at the deep end. On one side was another field, and on the other side we looked over a gate at our master’s house, which stood by the roadside. At the top of our field were more tall trees, and at the bottom was a fast-running stream. While I was young, I lived on my mother’s milk, but as soon as I was old enough to eat grass, my mother went out to work during the day and came back in the evening. There were six other young horses in the field, although they were older than I was. We all galloped together round the field, and had great fun. But sometimes the others would kick and bite. ‘They are young farm horses and haven’t learned how to behave,’ my mother told me. ‘You are different. Your father is well known, and your grandfather twice won the most important race at Newmarket. Your grandmother was quiet and gentle, and you have never seen me kick or bite, have you? I hope you will grow up to be gentle and a willing worker, and never bite or kick.’ I have never forgotten my mother’s advice. She was a clever and sensible old horse. Her name was Duchess, but our master often called her Pet. He was a good, kind man, and my mother loved him very much. Whenever she saw him at the gate, she trotted across. He used to pat her and say, ‘Well, old Pet, and how is your little Darkie?’ I was a dull black colour, so he called me Darkie. He sometimes brought a piece of bread for me, or a carrot for my mother, and I think we were his favourites. When I was two years old, something happened which I have never forgotten. It was early spring, and there was a light mist over the trees and fields. I and the other young horses were feeding at the lower end of the field when we heard the distant cry of dogs. The oldest among us lifted his head to listen. ‘There are the hounds!’ he said, and immediately raced off. The rest of us followed him to the top of the field, where we could see several fields beyond. Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/anna-suell/black-beauty/?lfrom=334617187) на ЛитРес. 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