Date Read: 22nd March 2010
Available Online?: YES (although read for this review was the David Coward translation of the story in A Day in the Country and Other Stories (Oxford University Press)).
Briefly: Far from the eyes of any witnesses, a young farmhand begins a campaign of torment against an old and infirm horse which has been put into his reluctant care.
Afterthoughts: I’m not one for reading stories of animal cruelty, and this is definitely one of these kinds of stories. It’s a sad and sorrowful tale and I doubt anyone would come away from reading it, feeling anything but sombre.
Notable Quote: A very old white horse, which the mistress wished to keep until its natural death, because she had brought it up and had always used it, and also because it recalled many happy memories, was housed, through sheer kindness of heart, at the end of the stable. A young scamp about fifteen years old, Isidore Duval by name, and called, for convenience, Zidore, took care of this pensioner, gave him his measure of oats and fodder in winter, and in summer was supposed to change his pasturing place four times a day, so that he might have plenty of fresh grass.
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.