The origin of…Horse

“A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.”
Ian Fleming

Post 17 Horse

The Fox and the Horse – Grimm Brothers

A farmer had a faithful horse that had been a faithful servant to him, but had now grown too old to work. So the farmer no longer wanted to give him anything to eat and said: “I want you no longer, so take off and go. Only if you prove yourself stronger than a lion, I will take you back and maintain you.” Then he opened the door and sent him away.

The poor horse was very sad, and wandered up and down in the wood, seeking some protection from the cold wind and rain. There the fox met him and said: “What’s the matter, my friend? Why do you hang your head down and look so lonely?” “Ah!” replied the horse, “loyalty and greed never dwell in one house. My master has forgotten all that I have done for him so many years, and because I can no longer work he will give me no more food, and says unless I become stronger than a lion he will not take me back again. What chance can I have of that? He said, if I were still strong enough to bring him a lion, he would keep me, but he well knows that I cannot do that.”

The fox said: “I will help you. Just lie down, stretch out as if you were dead, and do not move, and pretend to be dead.” The horse did as he was told, and the fox went to the lion that lived in a den not far away, and said to him: “A little way off lies a dead horse. Just come with me and you can have an excellent meal.” The lion was very pleased, and immediately went with him. When they came to the horse, the fox said: “It is not very comfortably to eat here. I’ll tell you what; I will fasten it to you by the tail and then you can drag him to your den, and eat him at in peace.”

The lion liked this idea, so he positioned himself in such a way that the fox could tie him to the horse. But the fox managed to tie the lion´s legs together and fastened everything so well and strongly that with all his strength he could not set himself free. When the work was done, the fox tapped the horse on the shoulder and said: “Pull, horse, pull!” Then up sprang the horse and moved off, dragging the lion behind him. The lion began to roar, so all the birds in the woods flew away in terror, but the horse let him roar, and made his way over the fields to his master’s house.

When the farmer saw the horse with the lion, his heart relented, and he said: “You will stay in thy stable and be well taken care of.’ And so the poor old horse had plenty to eat and lived well until he died.

1. a large animal that is used for riding and for carrying and pulling things
2. a frame used to support a piece of wood while it is being cut with a saw
3. a large piece of equipment used in gymnastics (source: Merriam Webster).

The English horse derives from Old English hors, from Proto-Germanic *hursa- (horse), of unknown origin. According to some related to the Proto-Indo-European root *kers-, from Latin currere, to run.
Dutch paard comes from Middle Dutch paert and perert (horse), from Latin paraveredus, extra post-horse, from the Greek word para (beside/assistant), and Latin verêdus (light/courier´s horse).
Spanish caballo and Italian cavallo find their origins in Latin caballus, packhorse/workhorse.

Horse in other languages:
Dutch: paard
Spanish: el caballo
Italian: il cavallo


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