Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Book note: The Blind Colt, by Glen Rounds

Most of The Blind Colt by Glen Rounds, c. 1941, 1960, is the sort of action dear to a boy's heart: life and death struggles out in the wild, a ten-year-old boy holding his own against opposition and calamity, that sort of thing. But it has its quieter moments and reflective side, too:

The blind colt began learning early the thousands and one things that a colt must know before he can take care of himself. Because he was blind he not only had to learn the things all colts must learn, but many others besides. For a week or so he stuck pretty close to the mare's side, and she saw to it that they stayed out where the ground was level with nothing for the colt to run into.

So it was only natural that he soon came to the conclusion that all the world was flat, and that he could travel safely anywhere.

What he did not know was that this Badlands country was criss-crossed and honeycombed with gulleys and washouts of every size, shape, and description, and that sooner or later he would have to learn about them.

In the copy I have, there's an author's note at the end, where Mr. Rounds explains that back in 1917/18, they had a blind range colt on their ranch in Montana. And, further, his father said that when he was a boy, he had a blind mare for a "Sunday horse."

So, while it's definitely fiction, The Blind Colt has its basis in fact.


Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

What is a Sunday Horse?

All my searches just bring up a book on horse racing.

Kathryn Judson said...

foxfier, As I understand it, a Sunday horse is your "go-to-town horse." It's the handsome or showy one you brush up especially well, and use to make a good impression. (Or at least a good showing.)

It's not an expression that I've heard used around here, but from the context, I'm guessing it's the same sort of thing as "Sunday clothes" or "Sunday best."

I think the expression comes from the fact that for a lot of respectable rural folks, going off to church was one of the few times they left the ranch or farm.

Can anybody confirm this? Or correct me on it? I'm making an educated guess on this, but it's still only a guess.