When the young man came into the stable, he passed rows and rows of fine horses with their names written in gold above their stalls. He walked aimlessly as he passed them by, and I heard him talking to himself.
“How can I find the princess Bella-Flor when I have never even seen her? I have no idea how to find her for the king. Why would he give me such a task?”
I neighed and shook my mane to call him over. When he got close, I whispered, “Take me and all will be well.”
Mechanically, he laid his hand on my bridle and led me out of the stable. He was so bewildered by his mission that he wasn’t even astonished to hear an old horse speak.
“Pick up those three loaves of bread before you mount me,” I said.
He did as he was told. Asking no questions, he swung himself onto my back. Funny fellow! He couldn’t even see the help he had moving underneath him!
Old Speaking Horse in The Princess Bella-Flor, Orange Fairy Book. Picture by Albrecht Durer.