When Black Beauty is trained to carry a rider on his back, or to pull a carriage behind him, he finds it hard at first. But he is lucky – his first home is a good one, where his owners are kind people, who would never be cruel to a horse.
But in the nineteenth century many people were cruel to their horses, whipping them and beating them, and using them like machines until they dropped dead. Black Beauty soon finds this out, and as he describes his life, he has many terrible stories to tell.
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- cab a taxi
- cough (v) to push out air violently and noisily from the throat
- dealer someone who buys and sells things
- drunk (adj) feeling the effects of too much alcoholic drink
- feed (v) to give food to a person or animal, or to eat something
- gallop (of a horse) to run very fast
- groom (n) a person whose job is to look after horses in a stable
- groom (v) to clean and brush a horse’s coat
- harness (n) the straps, collar, etc. on a horse’s head and body which fasten the horse to a carriage
- harness (v) to fasten a horse to a carriage with straps
- hay dried grass, which is used to feed animals
- hunt (v and n) to chase and kill animals for food or sport
- look after to take care of something or someone
- mare an adult female horse
- master/mistress a man/woman who owns animals and employs people to look after them
- neigh (n) the loud cry of a horse
- oats a kind of plant used as food (for animals and people)
- pat (v) to touch gently with your hand several times
- pleasant nice, enjoyable, pleasing
- race (n) a competition to see who can run, ride, etc. the fastest
- ruin (v) to harm or damage something completely
- strength being strong
- temper how you feel (e.g. a badtempered person is angry)
- tight fixed or fastened very closely
- treat to behave well or badly towards someone or something
- trot (of a horse) to run slowly, with short steps
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