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Old 10-27-2012, 05:32 AM   #1
GrannyGrump
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Twain, Mark: A Horse's Tale (Illustrated). v1. 27 October 2012

A HORSE’S TALE
by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910)
Illustrated by Lucius Hitchcock (1868 – 1942)
First published 1906

The text of this book, published before 1923, is in the public domain world-wide because the author died more than 100 years ago. The illustrations are in the public domain in countries where copyright is Life+60 or less [will be Life+70 in Jan-2013], and in the USA.

Mark Twain is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel." Among dozens of titles, some of his works include The Innocents Abroad, A Tramp Abroad, Roughing It, Life on the Mississippi, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and many more.

This short novella appeared in Harper’s Magazine in 1906, and was published as a book in 1907. Clemens wrote this story after receiving a request from actress Minnie Maddern Fiske to assist in her drive against bullfighting. Clemen’s daughter Susy Clemens, who died in 1896 at age 24 of spinal meningitis, is understood to be the inspiration for lead character Cathy Alison.
The story is written partially in the voice of Soldier Boy, who is Buffalo Bill's favorite horse, at a fictional frontier outpost with the U.S. 7th Cavalry. Cathy, a fearless adventurous spirit in the person of a nine-year-old orphan, comes to live with her uncle, General Alison, and soon wins the hearts of all who meet her.

The first part of the book is well-seasoned with Twain’s signature wry humor, but later takes a much darker turn when the author turns his attention to man’s inhumanity to animals. The reader would be well-advised to keep a hanky close at hand.

—Some of the above information taken from Wikipedia

------
An excerpt:

[two horses in conversation....]

Quote:
“Who is Shekels?”

“The Seventh Cavalry dog. I mean, if he is a dog. His father was a coyote and his mother was a wild-cat. It doesn’t really make a dog out of him, does it?”

“Not a real dog, I should think. Only a kind of a general dog, at most, I reckon. Though this is a matter of ichthyology, I suppose; and if it is, it is out of my depth, and so my opinion is not valuable, and I don’t claim much consideration for it.”

“It isn’t ichthyology; it is dogmatics, which is still more difficult and tangled up. Dogmatics always are.”

“Dogmatics is quite beyond me, quite; so I am not competing. But on general principles it is my opinion that a colt out of a coyote and a wild-cat is no square dog, but doubtful. That is my hand, and I stand pat.”

“Well, it is as far as I can go myself, and be fair and conscientious. I have always regarded him as a doubtful dog, and so has Potter. Potter is the great Dane. Potter says he is no dog, and not even poultry — though I do not go quite so far as that.

“And I wouldn’t, myself. Poultry is one of those things which no person can get to the bottom of, there is so much of it and such variety. It is just wings, and wings, and wings, till you are weary: turkeys, and geese, and bats, and butterflies, and angels, and grasshoppers, and flying-fish, and — well, there is really no end to the tribe; it gives me the heaves just to think of it. But this one hasn’t any wings, has he?”

“No.”

“Well, then, in my belief he is more likely to be dog than poultry. I have not heard of poultry that hadn’t wings. Wings is the sign of poultry; it is what you tell poultry by. Look at the mosquito.”
------

5 full-page illustrations. Formatted curly quotes, emdashes, italics. Cross-linked in-line table of contents. Drop-caps and Large-caps versions.

This novella may be a surprise for those who have only read Twain's humorous pieces. There is humor a-plenty, but horror as well, and the underlying theme resonates for a long time after the reading is done.
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This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

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File Type: epub Twain-HorsesTale-DropCaps.epub (1.41 MB, 198 views)
File Type: epub Twain-HorsesTale-LgCaps.epub (1.41 MB, 146 views)
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