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He left the prairie and travelled to the city. There he began pulling the man’s carriage. After a number of days he began pining for the prairie, so he told the businessman: “Consider me, from this day on, as having resigned from this job.”

The man snapped: “What do you mean?” The horse replied: “I am going to the prairie, where I was born.”

The businessman laughed a schemer’s laugh, and said: “I will not allow you to return to the prairie.”

The horse said: “I am free, I will do as I please.” The businessman gave the horse a mocking stare, and then he said: “You have been my slave ever since you allowed me to put the bridle over your head.”

The horse neighed violently: “I will not pull your carriage.” Coldly the businessman said: “If you do not pull my carriage, I will not feed you.”

For several days the horse did not pull the carriage. The businessman did as he had promised, he did not give the horse any food.

The horse was starving, and so he was forced to go back to pulling the carriage. The businessman was happy. He told the horse: “You must have realized by now that whoever lets go of his freedom for a single day will be a slave for the rest of his life.”

The horse could never forget the days when he was free, like the wind, to gallop over the limitless prairie.

Sometimes, with love and yearning, he would breathe in the wind coming from the prairie. Then he would release a neigh, angry and bleeding, and knowing he must keep pulling the rich man’s carriage.

BANIPAL 53 – SUMMER 2015 163

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