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ime Susie and Mollie are back from meeting." "Haven't we had a gay old time," said Roy, on the way home, "and ain't you glad I put you up to coming, Sam Ray?" And Sammy admitted that he was. * * * * * "Now, girls and boys," said Miss Ruth, on the next Wednesday afternoon, "I am going to take you on a long journey,--in fancy, I mean,--over the hills and plains and valleys, to the country of the Far West, with its rolling prairies and big fields of wheat and corn. You shall be set down in a green meadow, with a stream running through it, shallow and clear at this time of year, but a little later, when the September rains have filled it, rushing along full of deep, muddy water. "Under a big oak in about the middle of the pasture you will find an old horse feeding. He is fat and sleepy looking, and has a kind face, and a white spot on his forehead. This is Old Star, Farmer Horton's family-horse. You may pat his neck and stroke his nose and feed him a cookie or a bit of gingerbread,--I am afraid the old fellow hasn't teeth enough left to chew an apple,--and then you may sit near him on the grass, and while I read aloud to you, fancy that he is talking, and, if you have plenty of imagination, you will get THE STORY OF OLD STAR, TOLD BY HIMSELF. "I hope nobody thinks I am turned out in this pasture because I am too old to work. Horses pass here every day drawing heavy loads, older by half a dozen years than I am, poor broken-down hacks too, most of them, while I--well, if it wasn't for a little stiffness in the joints and a giving out of wind, now and then, I can't see but what I'm as well able to travel as I ever was. "The fact is, I never was put to hard work. There were always horses enough besides me on the place to do the farm work and the teaming--Tom and Jerry and the colt, you know; not Filly's colt: he died, poor thing, before he was a year old, of that disease with a long name that carried off so many horses all over the country: but a great shambling big-boned beast old master swapped a yoke of steers for, over to Skipton Mills. We called him Goliath, he was so tall: strong as an elephant, too: a powerful hand at a horse-rake and mowing-machine. Well, well, how time flies, to be sure! He's been dead and gone these five years, and Tom and Jerry, they were used up long ago--there's a deal of hard work to be done on a farm of this size, I can tell you; and as to Filly, she
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