William Saroyan: The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse

The narrator is a nine-year-old boy by name Aram. One day he is awakened by his cousin Mourad, who is only a little older than himself. When Aram looks out the window he sees his cousin sitting on a white horse.

He quitely slips out of home and the boys have a ride on the horse.

Where did Mourad get the animal? Did he steal it? How long did he keep it? How did he return the horse to its rightful owner? What was the latter’s reaction to the ‘lost and found’ incident?

An evocative story that reflects the gentle,  honest and trusting spirit of the Armenian community displaced in California from their homeland. The boys’ responsiveness to animals is touching.

I reread the story that is included in Great Tales of the Far West (Pyramid Books).


4 Responses to William Saroyan: The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse

  1. Ganesh says:

    A Google search reveals that this story is now a part of the Class XI English textbook supplement in the NCERT curriculum (It wasn’t there when I was doing Class XI 11 years ago)

    Now, NCERT seems to be doing a good thing by hosting the textbooks online.

    The whole story is available here:

    http://www.ncert.nic.in/book_publishing/class 11/snapshots suppl. reader english/chap-01.pdf

    Now, I will sit down to read the story…

  2. Ganesh says:

    A story of a different sort. Nothing flashy, just like an anecdote.

    I like how the story is framed, particularly with the ending appearing to be a win-win situation for both the boys (they escape getting punished) as well as the original owner.

    What would make for an interesting analysis is Mourad’s (the original ‘thief’) attitude towards the borrowing of the horse? Why didn’t he consider it as stealing? Also, is there any suggestive undercurrent to the crazy Uncle Khosrove’s characterisation? What do fellow readers feel?

  3. A lovely story. The raw, crazy streak of a race of a period, guileless and lively.

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