NCERT Textbook - The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse Class 11 Notes | EduRev

English Snapshot Class 11

Created by: Anant Ahuja

Class 11 : NCERT Textbook - The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse Class 11 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


1 1 1 1 1
The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the
Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse
W W W W W illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan
             
    .
ONE day back there in the good old days when I was  nine and the
world was full of every imaginable kind of magnificence, and life
was still a delightful and mysterious dream, my cousin Mourad,
who was considered crazy by everybody who knew him except
me, came to my house at four in the morning and woke me up
tapping on the window of my room.
Aram, he said.
I jumped out of bed and looked out of the window.
I couldn’t believe what I saw.
It wasn’t morning yet, but it was summer and with daybreak
not many minutes around the corner of the world it was light
enough for me to know I wasn’t dreaming.
My cousin Mourad was sitting on a beautiful white horse.
I stuck my head out of the window and rubbed my eyes.
Yes, he said in Armenian. It’s a horse. You’re not dreaming.
Make it quick if you want to ride.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


1 1 1 1 1
The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the
Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse
W W W W W illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan
             
    .
ONE day back there in the good old days when I was  nine and the
world was full of every imaginable kind of magnificence, and life
was still a delightful and mysterious dream, my cousin Mourad,
who was considered crazy by everybody who knew him except
me, came to my house at four in the morning and woke me up
tapping on the window of my room.
Aram, he said.
I jumped out of bed and looked out of the window.
I couldn’t believe what I saw.
It wasn’t morning yet, but it was summer and with daybreak
not many minutes around the corner of the world it was light
enough for me to know I wasn’t dreaming.
My cousin Mourad was sitting on a beautiful white horse.
I stuck my head out of the window and rubbed my eyes.
Yes, he said in Armenian. It’s a horse. You’re not dreaming.
Make it quick if you want to ride.
© NCERT
not to be republished
2 
I knew my cousin Mourad enjoyed being alive more than
anybody else who had ever fallen into the world by mistake, but
this was more than even I could believe.
In the first place, my earliest memories had been memories
of horses and my first longings had been longings to ride.
This was the wonderful part.
In the second place, we were poor.
This was the part that wouldn’t permit me to believe what I saw.
We were poor. We had no money. Our whole tribe was poverty-
stricken. Every branch of the Garoghlanian
1 
family was living in
the most amazing and comical poverty in the world. Nobody
could understand where we ever got money enough to keep us
with food in our bellies, not even the old men of the family. Most
important of all, though, we were famous for our honesty. We
had been famous for our honesty for something like eleven
centuries, even when we had been the wealthiest family in what
we liked to think was the world. We were proud first, honest
next, and after that we believed in right and wrong. None of us
would take advantage of anybody in the world, let alone steal.
Consequently, even though I could see the horse, so
magnificent; even though I could smell it, so lovely; even though
I could hear it breathing, so exciting; I couldn’t believe the horse
had anything to do with my cousin Mourad or with me or with
any of the other members of our family, asleep or awake, because
I knew my cousin Mourad couldn’t have bought the horse, and
if he couldn’t have bought it he must have stolen it, and I refused
to believe he had stolen it.
No member of the Garoghlanian family could be a thief.
I stared first at my cousin and then at the horse. There was
a pious stillness and humour in each of them which on the one
hand delighted me and on the other frightened me.
Mourad, I said, where did you steal this horse?
Leap out of the window, he said, if you want to ride.
It was true, then. He had stolen the horse. There was no
question about it. He had come to invite me to ride or not, as
I chose.
Well, it seemed to me stealing a horse for a ride was not the
same thing as stealing something else, such as money. For all I
knew, maybe it wasn’t stealing at all. If you were crazy about
1
 an Armenian tribe
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


1 1 1 1 1
The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the
Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse
W W W W W illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan
             
    .
ONE day back there in the good old days when I was  nine and the
world was full of every imaginable kind of magnificence, and life
was still a delightful and mysterious dream, my cousin Mourad,
who was considered crazy by everybody who knew him except
me, came to my house at four in the morning and woke me up
tapping on the window of my room.
Aram, he said.
I jumped out of bed and looked out of the window.
I couldn’t believe what I saw.
It wasn’t morning yet, but it was summer and with daybreak
not many minutes around the corner of the world it was light
enough for me to know I wasn’t dreaming.
My cousin Mourad was sitting on a beautiful white horse.
I stuck my head out of the window and rubbed my eyes.
Yes, he said in Armenian. It’s a horse. You’re not dreaming.
Make it quick if you want to ride.
© NCERT
not to be republished
2 
I knew my cousin Mourad enjoyed being alive more than
anybody else who had ever fallen into the world by mistake, but
this was more than even I could believe.
In the first place, my earliest memories had been memories
of horses and my first longings had been longings to ride.
This was the wonderful part.
In the second place, we were poor.
This was the part that wouldn’t permit me to believe what I saw.
We were poor. We had no money. Our whole tribe was poverty-
stricken. Every branch of the Garoghlanian
1 
family was living in
the most amazing and comical poverty in the world. Nobody
could understand where we ever got money enough to keep us
with food in our bellies, not even the old men of the family. Most
important of all, though, we were famous for our honesty. We
had been famous for our honesty for something like eleven
centuries, even when we had been the wealthiest family in what
we liked to think was the world. We were proud first, honest
next, and after that we believed in right and wrong. None of us
would take advantage of anybody in the world, let alone steal.
Consequently, even though I could see the horse, so
magnificent; even though I could smell it, so lovely; even though
I could hear it breathing, so exciting; I couldn’t believe the horse
had anything to do with my cousin Mourad or with me or with
any of the other members of our family, asleep or awake, because
I knew my cousin Mourad couldn’t have bought the horse, and
if he couldn’t have bought it he must have stolen it, and I refused
to believe he had stolen it.
No member of the Garoghlanian family could be a thief.
I stared first at my cousin and then at the horse. There was
a pious stillness and humour in each of them which on the one
hand delighted me and on the other frightened me.
Mourad, I said, where did you steal this horse?
Leap out of the window, he said, if you want to ride.
It was true, then. He had stolen the horse. There was no
question about it. He had come to invite me to ride or not, as
I chose.
Well, it seemed to me stealing a horse for a ride was not the
same thing as stealing something else, such as money. For all I
knew, maybe it wasn’t stealing at all. If you were crazy about
1
 an Armenian tribe
© NCERT
not to be republished
       3
horses the way my cousin Mourad and I were, it wasn’t stealing.
It wouldn’t become stealing until we offered to sell the horse,
which of course, I knew we would never do.
Let me put on some clothes, I said.
All right, he said, but hurry.
I leaped into my clothes.
I jumped down to the yard from the window and leaped up
onto the horse behind my cousin Mourad.
 That year we lived at the edge of town, on Walnut Avenue.
Behind our house was the country: vineyards, orchards,
irrigation ditches, and country roads. In less than three minutes
we were on Olive Avenue, and then the horse began to trot. The
air was new and lovely to breathe. The feel of the horse running
was wonderful. My cousin Mourad who was considered one of
the craziest members of our family began to sing. I mean, he
began to roar.
Every family has a crazy streak in it somewhere, and my
cousin Mourad was considered the natural descendant of the
crazy streak in our tribe. Before him was our uncle Khosrove,
an enormous man with a powerful head of black hair and the
largest moustache in the San Joaquin Valley
2
, a man so furious
in temper, so irritable, so impatient that he stopped anyone from
talking by roaring, It is no harm; pay no attention to it.
That was all, no matter what anybody happened to be talking
about. Once it was his own son Arak running eight blocks to
the barber’s shop where his father was having his moustache
trimmed to tell him their house was on fire. This man Khosrove
sat up in the chair and roared, It is no harm; pay no attention to
it. The barber said, But the boy says your house is on fire. So
Khosrove roared, Enough, it is no harm, I say.
My cousin Mourad was considered the natural descendant
of this man, although Mourad’s father was Zorab, who was
practical and nothing else. That’s how it was in our tribe. A
man could be the father of his son’s flesh, but that did not
mean that he was also the father of his spirit. The distribution
of the various kinds of spirit of our tribe had been from the
beginning capricious and vagrant.
We rode and my cousin Mourad sang. For all anybody knew
we were still in the old country where, at least according to
2
 one of the long interior valleys of California
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


1 1 1 1 1
The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the
Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse
W W W W W illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan
             
    .
ONE day back there in the good old days when I was  nine and the
world was full of every imaginable kind of magnificence, and life
was still a delightful and mysterious dream, my cousin Mourad,
who was considered crazy by everybody who knew him except
me, came to my house at four in the morning and woke me up
tapping on the window of my room.
Aram, he said.
I jumped out of bed and looked out of the window.
I couldn’t believe what I saw.
It wasn’t morning yet, but it was summer and with daybreak
not many minutes around the corner of the world it was light
enough for me to know I wasn’t dreaming.
My cousin Mourad was sitting on a beautiful white horse.
I stuck my head out of the window and rubbed my eyes.
Yes, he said in Armenian. It’s a horse. You’re not dreaming.
Make it quick if you want to ride.
© NCERT
not to be republished
2 
I knew my cousin Mourad enjoyed being alive more than
anybody else who had ever fallen into the world by mistake, but
this was more than even I could believe.
In the first place, my earliest memories had been memories
of horses and my first longings had been longings to ride.
This was the wonderful part.
In the second place, we were poor.
This was the part that wouldn’t permit me to believe what I saw.
We were poor. We had no money. Our whole tribe was poverty-
stricken. Every branch of the Garoghlanian
1 
family was living in
the most amazing and comical poverty in the world. Nobody
could understand where we ever got money enough to keep us
with food in our bellies, not even the old men of the family. Most
important of all, though, we were famous for our honesty. We
had been famous for our honesty for something like eleven
centuries, even when we had been the wealthiest family in what
we liked to think was the world. We were proud first, honest
next, and after that we believed in right and wrong. None of us
would take advantage of anybody in the world, let alone steal.
Consequently, even though I could see the horse, so
magnificent; even though I could smell it, so lovely; even though
I could hear it breathing, so exciting; I couldn’t believe the horse
had anything to do with my cousin Mourad or with me or with
any of the other members of our family, asleep or awake, because
I knew my cousin Mourad couldn’t have bought the horse, and
if he couldn’t have bought it he must have stolen it, and I refused
to believe he had stolen it.
No member of the Garoghlanian family could be a thief.
I stared first at my cousin and then at the horse. There was
a pious stillness and humour in each of them which on the one
hand delighted me and on the other frightened me.
Mourad, I said, where did you steal this horse?
Leap out of the window, he said, if you want to ride.
It was true, then. He had stolen the horse. There was no
question about it. He had come to invite me to ride or not, as
I chose.
Well, it seemed to me stealing a horse for a ride was not the
same thing as stealing something else, such as money. For all I
knew, maybe it wasn’t stealing at all. If you were crazy about
1
 an Armenian tribe
© NCERT
not to be republished
       3
horses the way my cousin Mourad and I were, it wasn’t stealing.
It wouldn’t become stealing until we offered to sell the horse,
which of course, I knew we would never do.
Let me put on some clothes, I said.
All right, he said, but hurry.
I leaped into my clothes.
I jumped down to the yard from the window and leaped up
onto the horse behind my cousin Mourad.
 That year we lived at the edge of town, on Walnut Avenue.
Behind our house was the country: vineyards, orchards,
irrigation ditches, and country roads. In less than three minutes
we were on Olive Avenue, and then the horse began to trot. The
air was new and lovely to breathe. The feel of the horse running
was wonderful. My cousin Mourad who was considered one of
the craziest members of our family began to sing. I mean, he
began to roar.
Every family has a crazy streak in it somewhere, and my
cousin Mourad was considered the natural descendant of the
crazy streak in our tribe. Before him was our uncle Khosrove,
an enormous man with a powerful head of black hair and the
largest moustache in the San Joaquin Valley
2
, a man so furious
in temper, so irritable, so impatient that he stopped anyone from
talking by roaring, It is no harm; pay no attention to it.
That was all, no matter what anybody happened to be talking
about. Once it was his own son Arak running eight blocks to
the barber’s shop where his father was having his moustache
trimmed to tell him their house was on fire. This man Khosrove
sat up in the chair and roared, It is no harm; pay no attention to
it. The barber said, But the boy says your house is on fire. So
Khosrove roared, Enough, it is no harm, I say.
My cousin Mourad was considered the natural descendant
of this man, although Mourad’s father was Zorab, who was
practical and nothing else. That’s how it was in our tribe. A
man could be the father of his son’s flesh, but that did not
mean that he was also the father of his spirit. The distribution
of the various kinds of spirit of our tribe had been from the
beginning capricious and vagrant.
We rode and my cousin Mourad sang. For all anybody knew
we were still in the old country where, at least according to
2
 one of the long interior valleys of California
© NCERT
not to be republished
4 
some of our neighbours, we belonged. We let the horse run as
long as it felt like running.
At last my cousin Mourad said, Get down. I want to ride
alone.
Will you let me ride alone? I asked.
That is up to the horse, my cousin said. Get down.
The horse will let me ride, I said.
We shall see, he said. Don’t forget that I have a way
with a horse.
Well, I said, any way you have with a horse, I have also.
For the sake of your safety, he said, let us hope so. Get down.
All right, I said, but remember you’ve got to let me try to
ride alone.
I got down and my cousin Mourad kicked his heels into the
horse and shouted, Vazire, run. The horse stood on its hind
legs, snorted, and burst into a fury of speed that was the loveliest
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


1 1 1 1 1
The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the The Summer of the
Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse Beautiful White Horse
W W W W W illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan illiam Saroyan
             
    .
ONE day back there in the good old days when I was  nine and the
world was full of every imaginable kind of magnificence, and life
was still a delightful and mysterious dream, my cousin Mourad,
who was considered crazy by everybody who knew him except
me, came to my house at four in the morning and woke me up
tapping on the window of my room.
Aram, he said.
I jumped out of bed and looked out of the window.
I couldn’t believe what I saw.
It wasn’t morning yet, but it was summer and with daybreak
not many minutes around the corner of the world it was light
enough for me to know I wasn’t dreaming.
My cousin Mourad was sitting on a beautiful white horse.
I stuck my head out of the window and rubbed my eyes.
Yes, he said in Armenian. It’s a horse. You’re not dreaming.
Make it quick if you want to ride.
© NCERT
not to be republished
2 
I knew my cousin Mourad enjoyed being alive more than
anybody else who had ever fallen into the world by mistake, but
this was more than even I could believe.
In the first place, my earliest memories had been memories
of horses and my first longings had been longings to ride.
This was the wonderful part.
In the second place, we were poor.
This was the part that wouldn’t permit me to believe what I saw.
We were poor. We had no money. Our whole tribe was poverty-
stricken. Every branch of the Garoghlanian
1 
family was living in
the most amazing and comical poverty in the world. Nobody
could understand where we ever got money enough to keep us
with food in our bellies, not even the old men of the family. Most
important of all, though, we were famous for our honesty. We
had been famous for our honesty for something like eleven
centuries, even when we had been the wealthiest family in what
we liked to think was the world. We were proud first, honest
next, and after that we believed in right and wrong. None of us
would take advantage of anybody in the world, let alone steal.
Consequently, even though I could see the horse, so
magnificent; even though I could smell it, so lovely; even though
I could hear it breathing, so exciting; I couldn’t believe the horse
had anything to do with my cousin Mourad or with me or with
any of the other members of our family, asleep or awake, because
I knew my cousin Mourad couldn’t have bought the horse, and
if he couldn’t have bought it he must have stolen it, and I refused
to believe he had stolen it.
No member of the Garoghlanian family could be a thief.
I stared first at my cousin and then at the horse. There was
a pious stillness and humour in each of them which on the one
hand delighted me and on the other frightened me.
Mourad, I said, where did you steal this horse?
Leap out of the window, he said, if you want to ride.
It was true, then. He had stolen the horse. There was no
question about it. He had come to invite me to ride or not, as
I chose.
Well, it seemed to me stealing a horse for a ride was not the
same thing as stealing something else, such as money. For all I
knew, maybe it wasn’t stealing at all. If you were crazy about
1
 an Armenian tribe
© NCERT
not to be republished
       3
horses the way my cousin Mourad and I were, it wasn’t stealing.
It wouldn’t become stealing until we offered to sell the horse,
which of course, I knew we would never do.
Let me put on some clothes, I said.
All right, he said, but hurry.
I leaped into my clothes.
I jumped down to the yard from the window and leaped up
onto the horse behind my cousin Mourad.
 That year we lived at the edge of town, on Walnut Avenue.
Behind our house was the country: vineyards, orchards,
irrigation ditches, and country roads. In less than three minutes
we were on Olive Avenue, and then the horse began to trot. The
air was new and lovely to breathe. The feel of the horse running
was wonderful. My cousin Mourad who was considered one of
the craziest members of our family began to sing. I mean, he
began to roar.
Every family has a crazy streak in it somewhere, and my
cousin Mourad was considered the natural descendant of the
crazy streak in our tribe. Before him was our uncle Khosrove,
an enormous man with a powerful head of black hair and the
largest moustache in the San Joaquin Valley
2
, a man so furious
in temper, so irritable, so impatient that he stopped anyone from
talking by roaring, It is no harm; pay no attention to it.
That was all, no matter what anybody happened to be talking
about. Once it was his own son Arak running eight blocks to
the barber’s shop where his father was having his moustache
trimmed to tell him their house was on fire. This man Khosrove
sat up in the chair and roared, It is no harm; pay no attention to
it. The barber said, But the boy says your house is on fire. So
Khosrove roared, Enough, it is no harm, I say.
My cousin Mourad was considered the natural descendant
of this man, although Mourad’s father was Zorab, who was
practical and nothing else. That’s how it was in our tribe. A
man could be the father of his son’s flesh, but that did not
mean that he was also the father of his spirit. The distribution
of the various kinds of spirit of our tribe had been from the
beginning capricious and vagrant.
We rode and my cousin Mourad sang. For all anybody knew
we were still in the old country where, at least according to
2
 one of the long interior valleys of California
© NCERT
not to be republished
4 
some of our neighbours, we belonged. We let the horse run as
long as it felt like running.
At last my cousin Mourad said, Get down. I want to ride
alone.
Will you let me ride alone? I asked.
That is up to the horse, my cousin said. Get down.
The horse will let me ride, I said.
We shall see, he said. Don’t forget that I have a way
with a horse.
Well, I said, any way you have with a horse, I have also.
For the sake of your safety, he said, let us hope so. Get down.
All right, I said, but remember you’ve got to let me try to
ride alone.
I got down and my cousin Mourad kicked his heels into the
horse and shouted, Vazire, run. The horse stood on its hind
legs, snorted, and burst into a fury of speed that was the loveliest
© NCERT
not to be republished
       5
thing I had ever seen. My cousin Mourad raced the horse across
a field of dry grass to an irrigation ditch, crossed the ditch on
the horse, and five minutes later returned, dripping wet.
The sun was coming up.
Now it’s my turn to ride, I said.
My cousin Mourad got off the horse.
Ride, he said.
I leaped to the back of the horse and for a moment knew the
most awful fear imaginable. The horse did not move.
Kick into his muscles, my cousin Mourad said. What are
you waiting for? We’ve got to take him back before everybody in
the world is up and about.
I kicked into the muscles of the horse. Once again it reared
and snorted. Then it began to run. I didn’t know what to do.
Instead of running across the field to the irrigation ditch the
horse ran down the road to the vineyard of Dikran Halabian
where it began to leap over vines. The horse leaped over seven
vines before I fell. Then it continued running.
My cousin Mourad came running down the road.
I’m not worried about you, he shouted. We’ve got to get that
horse. You go this way and I’ll go this way. If you come upon
him, be kindly. I’ll be near.
I continued down the road and my cousin, Mourad went
across the field toward the irrigation ditch.
It took him half an hour to find the horse and bring
him back.
All right, he said, jump on. The whole world is awake now.
What will we do? I said.
Well, he said, we’ll either take him back or hide him until
tomorrow morning.
He didn’t sound worried and I knew he’d hide him and not
take him back. Not for a while, at any rate.
Where will we hide him? I said.
I know a place, he said.
How long ago did you steal this horse? I said.
It suddenly dawned on me that he had been taking these
early morning rides for some time and had come for me this
morning only because he knew how much I longed to ride.
Who said anything about stealing a horse? he said.
Anyhow, I said, how long ago did you begin riding
every morning?
© NCERT
not to be republished
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