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The Peasant and the Horse

Adaptions and Imitations of Hindoo Fables

Leo Tolstoy

A Peasant went to town to fetch some oats for his Horse. He had barely left the village, when the Horse began to turn around, toward the house. The Peasant struck the Horse with his whip. She went on, and kept thinking about the Peasant:

"Whither is that fool driving me? He had better go home."

Before reaching town, the Peasant saw that the Horse trudged along through the mud with difficulty, so he turned her on the pavement; but the Horse began to turn back from the street. The Peasant gave the Horse the whip, and jerked at the reins; she went on the pavement, and thought:

"Why has he turned me on the pavement? It will only break my hoofs. It is rough underfoot."

The Peasant went to the shop, bought the oats, and drove home. When he came home, he gave the Horse some oats. The Horse ate them and thought:

"How stupid men are! They are fond of exercising their wits on us, but they have less sense than we. What did he trouble himself about? He drove me somewhere. No matter how far we went, we came home in the end. So it would have been better if we had remained at home from the start: he could have been sitting on the oven, and I eating oats."

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