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| 1 My first home
The first place I can remember well was a pleasant field with a pond of clear water in it．Trees made shadows over the pond，and water plants grew at the deep end．On one side was another field，and on the other side we looked over a gate at our master's house， which stood by the roadside．At the top of our field were more tall trees，and at the bottom was a fast-running stream．
While I was young，I lived on my mother's milk，but as soon as I was old enough to eat grass，my mother went out to work during the day and came back in the evening．
There were six other young horses in me field，although they were older than I was．We all galloped together round the field， and had great fun．But sometimes the others would kick and bite．
'They are young farm horses and haven't learned how to behave，'my mother told me．'You are different．Your father is well known， and your grandfather twice won the most important race at Newmarket．Your grandmother was quiet and gentle，and you have never seen me kick or bite，have you？ I hope you will grow up to be gentle and a willing worker， and never bite or kick．'
I have never forgotten my mother's advice．She was a clever and sensible old horse．Her name was Duchess，but our master often called her Pet．He was a good，kind man，and my mother loved him very much．Whenever she saw him at the gate，she trotted across．He used to pat her and say，'Well，old Pet，and how is your little Darkie？'I was a dull black colour，so he called me Darkie．He sometimes brought a piece of bread for me，or a carrot for my mother，and I think we were his favourites．
When I was two years old，something happened which I have never forgotten．It was early spring，and there was a light mist over the trees and fields．I and the other young horses were feeding at the lower end of the field when we heard the distant cry of dogs．
The oldest among us lifted his head to listen．'There are the hounds！'he said，and immediately raced off．The rest of us followed him to the top of the field，where we could see several fields beyond．
My mother and another old horse were standing near．'They've found a hare，'said my mother，'and if they come this way，we shall see the hunt．'
Soon the dogs were all racing down the field next to ours，making a loud'yo-yo-yo-yo！'sound at the top of their voices．After them came men on horses，some in green coats，and all galloping as fast as they could．Suddenly，the dogs be-came silent and ran around with their noses to the ground．
'They've lost the smell of the hare，'said the old horse．'Perhaps it will escape．'
But the dogs began their'yo-yo-yo-yo！'again and came at full speed towards our field．Just then a hare，wild with fear，ran towards the trees．The dogs jumped over the stream and ran across the field，followed by the huntsmen． Six or eight jumped their horses over the stream，close behind the dogs．Be-fore the hare could get away，the dogs were upon her with wild cries．
We heard a terrible scream，and that was the end of the hare．One of the men picked her up and held her by the leg．She was covered in blood， but all the huntsmen seemed pleased．
I was so greatly surprised that at first I did not see what was happening by the stream， but when I did look， I saw a sad sight．Two fine horses were down，one in the stream and the other on the grass． One rider， who seemed unhurt，was climb-ing out of the water，but the other lay quite still．
'His neck is broken，'said my mother．'I can't understand why men are so fond of this sport．They quite often hurt them-selves and ruin good horses，all for one hare that they could get more easily some other way． But we are only horses， and don't know why men do these things．'
They carried the dead rider to our master's house， and I heard afterwards that it was George Gordon， the only son of a local landowner， and a fine young man．
A man from the village came to look at the black horse on the grass．The animal was in great pain and one of his legs was broken．The man began to feel the horse all over，then he shook his head．Someone ran to our master's house and came back with a gun．Soon after， there was a loud bang and a terrible cry，then all was still．The black horse did not move again．
My mother was very unhappy．'I've known that horse for years，'she said．'His name was Rob Roy．He was a good brave horse．'She never went near that end of the field again．
Not many days after，we heard the church bell and saw a long，strange black carriage，pulled by black horses．they were taking the body of young George Gordon to the churchyard to bury him．He would never ride again．I never knew what they did with Rob Roy，but it was all for one little hare．
| 1 我的第一个家
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