10 Tweets That Summarize the Book Black Beauty

Anna Sewell’s novel Black Beauty has been called the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin of the Horse,” as its publication spurred the drafting of legislation to protect horses from cruelty and contributed to a shift in public attitude regarding the pain and suffering of animals. Multiple generations of young readers have loved this classic tale, and even in our modern age this story is still a favorite of kids and adults alike. Assuming that social networking had existed in Black Beauty’s day, and that horses were able to use Twitter, here are ten tweets that summarize the plot of Black Beauty.

  1. “My mom, @Duchess, and I live in the meadow. The @Master calls me #Darkie.” – The novel opens with Black Beauty, then called “Darkie”, living in the meadow with his mother. His first home is pleasant in every way, and he enjoys a happy life as a colt.
  2. “@SquireGordon came to look at me today. He and @Master talked about #breaking me. I wonder what that means.” – Darkie’s master doesn’t believe in selling colts, so he won’t sell Darkie before he’s four years old. As the Squire Gordon examines Darkie thoroughly, he and the master discuss what a fine horse he’ll be once he’s broken.
  3. “I left the @Master’s home to live at @SquireGordon’s park. #Birtwick” – After being broken, Darkie is sold to Squire Gordon and taken to live on his property. His stall is spacious and clean, the food is plentiful, and the groom is gentle and kind with him. There he meets Merrylegs, who warns him that Ginger has a habit of biting because no one has ever treated her kindly.
  4. “My @Lady ordered that #CheckReins be used. They were painful, but not as much as the kick @Ginger gave my leg.” – The thoughtless lady of the house orders that the horses be reined tightly to keep their heads up; Ginger’s revolt causes much mayhem and she accidentally kicks Darkie. Ginger is not returned to the carriage, so Darkie gets a new partner who tells him that tight reins shorten horses’ lives.
  5. “Though it’s nice to have the small meadow and sweet grass to myself, I miss @Ginger.” – After Darkie’s injury he’s turned out into a meadow to recuperate. He misses his friend Ginger, but is quickly reunited with her. His happiness turns to dismay when he learns that Lord George has ridden her too hard and injured her. Their sadness is compounded when they learn that Darkie is to be sold.
  6. “Life as a #JobHorse is much different than I am accustomed to.” – After leaving the Squire’s park, Darkie finds himself living as a “job horse” and being driven by all manner of incompetent drivers. The careless treatment he receives causes him pain and minor injury regularly.
  7. “The #HorseFair was an experience I’m not likely to forget.” – At the horse fair, Darkie sees both purebred horses in the prime of their lives and older specimens that have been broken down by a lifetime of mistreatment. He also meets a man that he hopes will buy him and is worried at the prospect of being taken by a loud, hard-looking man. The kind man buys him and Darkie goes to sleep feeling certain that he will be happy with his new family.
  8. “@Jerry’s very sick. @Harry came to tend to us the last two mornings.” – Darkie realizes that Jerry’s illness must be very grave indeed when Harry is the only one available to care for the horses for three mornings running. It seems that he’ll recover as Governor Grant comes to exercise Hotspur each day. When word comes that Jerry’s been accepted as a coachman, Darkie realizes that he will never see him again. Worried for his future because he’s no longer a young horse, Darkie is led to his new home.
  9. “I’ve been sold to a corn dealer. My carter, @Jakes, took off my check-rein since the #Lady spoke with him.” – The heavy loads from the corn dealer’s foreman and Jakes’ rough treatment of him take its toll on Darkie. He’s struggling mightily when a mysterious lady intervenes and asks Jakes to stop beating him and take his check-rein off. Conditions improve slightly, but the work is hard and Darkie feels himself weakening.
  10. “The groom at my new post is @JoeGreen! My troubles are over, and I am at #home.” – After more trials, Darkie finds himself reunited with Joe Green, who works as a groom for the two sisters that bought him. His name with Squire Gordon, Black Beauty, is restored to him and he lives out the rest of his days in peace.

The only book that Anna Sewell ever wrote, the manuscript for Black Beauty was sold for twenty pounds, and is still one of the most commonly read books in the world. New print editions are published almost annually; with multiple translations and film adaptations the story of Black Beauty is timeless

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