a NEW HORSE

Two farmhands shared a room. After a while, the one who slept near the door began to feel very tired early in the day. His friend asked what was wrong.

“An awful thing happens every night,” he said. “A witch turns me into a horse and rides me all over the countryside.”

“I’ll sleep in your bed tonight,” his friend said. “We’ll see what happens to me.”

About midnight an old woman who lived nearby came into the room. She mumbled some strange words over the farmhand, and he found he couldn’t move. Then she slipped a bridle on him, and he turned into a horse.

The next thing he knew, she was riding him across the fields at breakneck speed, beating him to make him go even faster. Soon they came to a house where a party was going on. She hitched him to a fence and went in.

While she was gone, the farmhand rubbed against the fence until the bridle came off, and he turned back into a human.

Then he went into the house and found the witch. He spoke those strange words over her, and with the bridle he turned her into a horse. Then he rode her to a blacksmith and had her fitted with horseshoes. After that, he rode her to the farm where she lived.

“I have a pretty good filly here,” he told her husband,

“but I need a stronger horse. Would you like to trade?”

The old man looked her over, and said he would do it. The farmhand picked out another horse and rode away.

Her husband led his new horse to the barn. He took off the bridle and went to hang it up. But when he came back, the new horse was gone. Instead, there stood his wife with horseshoes nailed to her hands and feet.

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