Study Guide

Black Beauty Part 3, Chapter 32

By Anna Sewell

Part 3, Chapter 32

A Horse Fair

  • Beauty's put up for sale at a horse fair, and he makes a sly comment about how much fun a horse fair must be for those who "have nothing to lose" (32.1). Which reminds us that Beauty—and all of the other horses at the fair—have a lot to lose.
  • Beauty describes the fair and the mix of horses there, some of them still young and healthy, but some "very dejected-looking […] as if there was no more pleasure in life, and no more hope" (32.2). He also says that if he can be honest, there's a lot of shady business that goes down at horse fairs.
  • Beauty's examined by a lot of prospective buyers, and he judges them just as much as they're judging him, though of course he has no power to choose.
  • He soon finds a man he's hoping will buy him, a small man who seems used to horses. There's something nice about this man, and Beauty thinks it might even be the way he smells, "[…] a fresh smell as if he had come out of a hayloft" (32.5). The man tries to bargain for Beauty and is turned down, and several buyers turn up to negotiate. Beauty tries to make his preference known, reaching his head toward the kind-eyed man until the man raises his price, and Beauty is his.
  • The man takes him to an inn and feeds him, and after that they leave for London, where at last they reach a narrow street in a poor part of town with stables on one side.
  • When he arrives, the man whistles, and his cheerful, kind family rushes out to greet him—his wife Polly and two small children, Harry and Dolly. They come to pat and admire Beauty, who's led to a "comfortable, clean-smelling stall, with plenty of dry straw" (32.23). This looks promising, doesn't it?

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