Gateway to the Classics: A Child's Book of Stories by Penrhyn W. Coussens
A Child's Book of Stories by  Penrhyn W. Coussens

I Don't Care

"I SHALL go this way," said a young black colt, who was out on the moor.

"No, no," said a horse who was close by. "You must stay on the moor."

"Why?" asked the colt.

"I cannot tell you," said the horse. "I have been told to stay by an old horse, and I shall do so."

"I don't care," said the young colt, and off he ran down the road.

By and by he met an old mare at the inn door.

"Why are you here?" asked she.

"I have come out for a bit of fun," said the colt.

"But you should not do so," said the mare. "You are not fit to go out in the world. You have no shoes."

"I don't care," said the colt, and he kicked up his heels to show that he did not mind what the old mare said. But the mare said no more.

Then he went on down the road, as fast as he could run.

He met a mule with a pack on his back. The mule shook his head when he saw the colt.

"You should not be here," he said. "You have come from off the moor, I know. The town is close by."

"I don't care," said the colt. And on he ran right through the town. He had not been in a town in all his life, and the noise, and the sight of all the men, and all the carts, and cars made him feel quite crazy. He ran here and there, while men and boys ran to catch him, and threw stones and sticks, and cried out at him, up and down all the streets.

At last in a great sheet of glass, he saw what he thought was a young colt, and he ran up to ask it what he should do, and how he could get back to the moor. Of course it was not a colt, but his own self that he saw in the glass.

The glass cut him when he dashed it, and he fell down. And then he was caught.

"Why, that is my young colt from off the moor!" said a man, who just then came up. "These are his little games, are they? He must have a log of wood tied to his feet so he cannot run away again."

So he was led back to the moor, with his head cut, and his feet all sore, and there he had to stump from place to place with a great log tied to his feet. But he did not say, "I don't care" any more.

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