Study Guide

Black Beauty Chapter 2

By Anna Sewell

Chapter 2

The Hunt

  • Before Beauty is two, he witnesses something he says he'll never forget—a hunt. Beauty and the other horses watch as a pack of hunting dogs tear past their field in pursuit of a hare, followed by men on horseback. For a young horse, the noise level is like the equivalent of a rock concert. Beauty, his mom, and the other colts watch as a hare, "wild with fright" (2.7), is chased down and killed by the pack of dogs.
  • Two horses fall trying to jump a brook to get the hare. Duchess tells Beauty that the horse has broken his neck.
  • One of the colts says that it serves the hunting horse right, but Duchess disagrees and blames his rider: "I never yet could make out why men are so fond of this sport; they often hurt themselves, often spoil good horses, and tear up the fields" (2.12), she says.
  • One of the riders is also hurt, badly enough that he's not moving—young George Gordon, the Squire's only son.
  • Mr. Bond, the farrier (someone who shoes horses), comes to examine the fallen black horse and sees that his leg is broken. Someone goes for a gun and shoots the horse on the spot.
  • Beauty's mom is really upset, and says she knew the horse, Rob Roy. She's so shaken that "she never would go to that part of the field afterwards" (2.15).
  • The horses see George Gordon's funeral procession after that, and Beauty comments that all of it was for "one little hare" (2.16). There's some perspective for you.

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