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Our Horses in Egypt

by Rosalind Belben

Vividly evokes the conditions horses suffered in the First World War when many were taken abroad never to be returned home. The writing is almost staccato, but the prose summons up all of the anguish of the time beautifully. If you have any interest in period of history or horses in general this is a great read for you.

Extract

The first nights, at Milton Ducis, were without shelter. That was agreeable. The first day was without shelter. That was disagreeable. The horses twitched without cease. The army took none with short docks: oddly, not all were long tailed.
They were used to stalls. But there wasn't a petition. Each was allowed three foot.
Seasoned hunters, when picketed, were expected to give no trouble. Yet a few were alarmed. The noises unsettled them. When the lines were shifted, a night was suffered within thirty yards of canvas. The canvas creaked.
There was a day when a dark brown gelding scratched his ear with a hind foot and got that foot over his head rope. On another, a bay mare, with a dish face and nervous ears, went down and panicked, injuring herself and a neighbour.

Parallels

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Will We See Tomorrow? by Max Kuhnert
 

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