Study Guide

Black Beauty Chapter 40

By Anna Sewell

Chapter 40

Poor Ginger

  • Beauty's world is starting to look a little bit grim. One day, another cab pulls up next to Beauty's, and the horse pulling it is "[…] an old worn-out chestnut, with an ill-kept coat, and bones that showed plainly through it" (40.1). This unrecognizable horse looks at Beauty and says, "Black Beauty, is that you?" (40.1).
  • Guess who it is? It's Beauty's old friend Ginger.
  • Beauty reflects that she looks terrible, and they're able to talk for a minute. Ginger tells Beauty that she's been sold several times, but she's always moving down the ranks. At last she was bought by a man who rents out horses and cabs, who declared her worthless and has put her to work until she's "used up" (40.5). Oh, Ginger.
  • Poor Ginger tells Beauty she wishes she were dead.
  • Beauty is very upset, and puts his nose to hers, but can't think of a way to comfort her. Ginger tells him, "You are the only friend I ever had" (40.8), and then she drives off. 
  • Some time later, Beauty sees a cart with a dead horse on it and describes the terrible sight of that horse. And sadly, the horse is familiar—a chestnut horse with a thin neck and a white streak on its forehead. Beauty says, "I believe it was Ginger; I hoped it was, for then her troubles would be over" (40.10). If our hearts weren't broken before, they are now.

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