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Gertie the Horse Who Thought and Thought

Click to return to index    Author:  Margarite Glendinning
Copyright Date:  1951
Publisher:  Whittlesey House, McGraw-Hill
Pagination:  88 p.
Dedication:  to Dad
and his Grandchildren

C H A P T E R  O N E : A Horse Has Wishes Too

     Gertie was nine years old. That is rather old for a horse, almost middle-aged in fact. On the outside, she looked sensible and middle-aged. Her gray hide was sleek and fat. Her eyes were soft and dreamy. But on the inside, she was as frisky as a six months’ colt.
     Like many young things, she had a big bump of curiosity. She wondered about all sorts of things—why the wind blew, who put the moon in the sky, why are rocks hard, and so on. That was the cause of her troubles.

     There was no one to tell her about the things that puzzled her. She had to think the answers out for herself. Often she was so busy thinking she didn’t hear what was said to her. If she did hear, half the words skipped through one ear and out the other.
Then she made mistakes. Of course, no one could see the clever thoughts inside Gertie’s head. They thought she was stupid and silly, and that made Gertie unhappy.
     Besides, life was dull on Farmer McNab’s farm. After nine years, there was nothing left to arouse her curiosity. She knew every stick and stone in the pasture. Even the seasons brought little change in the fields and woods or in the work she had to do about the farm. In the spring, she plowed. In the fall, she helped with the harvest. In the winter, she hauled wood. There was nothing new to see or to learn about, no one to talk to. There was nothing to do but think and think about the questions she could not answer.
     “Oh!” groaned Gertie a hundred times a day. “When will I ever get away from here! When will I ever see the world on the other side of the woods. I can’t bear seeing the same dull things day in and day out. I’m so tired of thinking the same old things.”

     She was trying so hard to think up new things to think about, she almost missed the new window in Farmer McNab’s house. It had been there for a week before she noticed it. When it caught her eye, she stopped with such a jerk that Farmer McNab went flying out of the wagon into the road.
     Such a queer round window it was! Its frosty glass door swung lazily on its hinges. In the little room beyond lay a brand new world, a shinier world than Gertie’s own. The grass was greener. The sky was bluer. The clouds were As silvery as thistledown. And in the middle of it all stood a horse, a sleek gray horse!
     “A horse!” thought Gertie excitedly. “Maybe he knows the answers to my questions. At least, he can talk to me. We can be friends.” From then on, Gertie could not keep away from the window. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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