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The Horse's Prayer

To thee, my master, I offer my prayer: Feed, water and care for me; and
when the day's work is done, provide me with shelter and a clean, dry
bed. Always be kind to me. Pet me sometimes, that I may serve you the
more gladly and learn to love you. Do not jerk the reins, and do not
whip me when going up hill. Never strike, beat or kick me when I do not
understand what you want, but give me a chance to understand you. Watch
me, and if I fail to do your bidding, see if something is not wrong with
my harness or feet.

Do not overload me or hitch me where water will drip on me. Keep me well
shod. Examine my teeth when I do not eat; I may have an ulcerated tooth,
and that, you know, is painful. Do not tie or check my head in an
unnatural position or take away my best defence against flies and
mosquitoes by cutting off my mane or tail.

I cannot tell you when I am thirsty, so give me clean, cool water often.
I cannot tell you in words when I am sick, so watch me and by signs you
may know my condition. Give me all possible shelter from the hot sun,
and put a blanket on me not when I am working, but when I am standing in
the cold. Never put a frosty bit in my mouth; first warm it by holding
it in your hands.

I try to carry you and your burdens without a murmur, and wait patiently
for you long hours of the day or night. Without the power to choose my
shoes or path, I sometimes fall on the hard pavements, and I must be
ready at any moment to lose my life in your service.

And finally, O, my master, when my useful strength is gone, do not turn
me out to starve or freeze, nor sell me to some human brute to be slowly
tortured and starved to death, but do thou, my master, take my life in
the kindest way, and your God will reward you here and hereafter. Amen.

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