The strong sea-breeze ruffles the sheet upon which we write, and the “white caps” are tossing up as if in greeting to Him who walks the pavements of emerald and opal:
“Waft, waft, ye winds, His story,
And you, ye waters, roll,
Till, like a sea of glory,
It spreads from pole to pole.”
Catching the bay mare.
It may be a lack of education on our part, but we confess to a dislike for horse-races. We never attended but three; the first in our boyhood, the second at a country fair, where we were deceived as to what would transpire, the third last Sabbath morning. We see our friends flush with indignation at this last admission; but let them wait a moment before they launch their verdict.
Our horse was in the pasture-field. It was almost time to start for church, and we needed the animal harnessed. The boy came in saying it was impossible to catch the bay mare, and calling for our assistance. We had on our best clothes, and did not feel like exposing ourself to rough usage; but we vaulted the fence with pail of water in hand, expecting to try the effect of rewards rather than punishments. The horse came out generously to meet us. We said to the boy, “She is very tame. Strange you cannot catch her.” She came near enough to cautiously smell the pail, when she suddenly changed her mind, and with one wild snort dashed off to the other end of the field.
Whether she was not thirsty, or was critical of the manner of presentation, or had apprehensions of our motive, or was seized with desire for exercise in the open air, she gave us no chance to guess. We resolved upon more caution of advance and gentler voice, and so laboriously approached her; for though a pail of water is light for a little way, it gets heavy after you have gone a considerable distance, though its contents be half spilled away.
This time we succeeded in getting her nose inserted into the bright beverage. We called her by pet names, addressing her as “Poor Dolly!” not wishing to suggest any pauperism by that term, but only sympathy for the sorrows of the brute creation, and told her that she was the finest horse that ever was. It seemed to take well. Flattery always does—with horses.
We felt that the time had come for us to produce the rope halter, which with our left hand we had all the while kept secreted behind our back. We put it over her neck, when the beast wheeled, and we seized her by the point where the copy-books say we ought to take Time, namely, the forelock. But we had poor luck. We ceased all caressing tone, and changed the subjunctive mood for the imperative. There never was a greater divergence of sentiment than at that instant between us and the bay mare. She pulled one way, we pulled the other. Turning her back upon us, she ejaculated into the air two shining horse-shoes, both the shape of the letter O, the one interjection in contempt for the ministry, and the other in contempt for the press.