Short Stories » The Wooden Horse

“COME and have a ride," the big brother said. “I am afraid," the little one answered; " the horse's mouth is wide open."

"But it's only wooden. That is the best of a horse that isn't real. If his mouth is ever so wide open, he cannot shut it. So come," and the big brother lifted the little one up, and dragged him about.

"Oh, do stop!” the little one cried out in terror; "does the horse make that noise along the floor?"


"And is it a real noise?"

“Of course it is," the big brother answered.

“But I thought only real things could make real things," the little one said;” where does the imitation horse end and the real sound begin?

"At this the big brother stood still for a few minutes.

"I was thinking about real and imitation things," he said presently. "It's very difficult to tell which is which sometimes. You see they get so close together that the one often grows into the other, and some imitated things become real and some real ones become imitation as they go on. But I should say that you are a real coward for not having a ride."

"No, I am not," the little one laughed; and, getting astride the wooden horse, he sat up bravely. "Oh, Jack, dear," he said to his brother,” we will always be glad that we are real boys, or we too might have been made with mouths we were never able to shut!"

International Short Story Writing Contest for School Children