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Bob, Amelia, and Horatius

This story tells the tale of a horse named Bob, a young and kind Amelia, and a poem called Horatius by Macaulay. Bob, a fine name for a horse, was owned by the friendly Colby family. They were close friends of Amelia's grandmother and lived on the route to Amelia's school in Atchison, KS. The Colby family used to own many horses but by then, Bob was their only remaining horse. He was kept to pull the carriage, but on days he wasn't needed, Mrs. Colby would let the sisters ride him for fun.

On this particular day, Amelia and her sister Muriel were on their way to school. knowing they would pass by the Colby's, they had prepared a sweet gift for Bob and stopped by to say hello. With a carrot and two sugar cubes (lucky horse), the girls said hello and Mrs. Colby asked if the girls would stop by again and ride Bob after school. He was surely lonely since the housekeeper had to go away on emergency family business.

The girls already planned on seeing Bob, they went, with treats in tow, to check on the unattended horse. Lucky for Bob they did so. Amelia and Muriel noticed that he did not have any water or food since the attendant had not been by. The two sweet and selfless girls immediately tended to their hungry and thirsty friend. They fed him oats and hay, treats of course, and gave him water.

Before they realized it, they were already late for school! Now, this was a bit of a problem. Amelia and her friend spent three weeks preparing for a speaking contest. Horatius is the first of four narrative poems, or lays, in a collection by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay titled The Lays of Rome (1842). The collection recounts heroic adventures and stories from Ancient Rome. Memorizing this long and eloquent narrative could not have been an easy feat for the two young girls. The time and effort put into learning had to be great.

Yet, when Amelia entered her classroom, late from tending to her horse friend Bob, her friend was reciting the very last verses of the long and difficult lay. Amelia lost her chance to win the speaking contest, and even more so, wasn't able to show her hard work and recite the poem she spent so much time and energy learning. But Amelia being the kind and gracious young person she was, was not at all upset. She was happy that Bob was taken care of, and she enjoyed learning Horatius as it had been "fun," she told her instructor



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