To Thee, My master, I offer my prayer: Feed me, water and care for me, and when the day's work is done, provide me with shelter, a clean dry bed, and a stall wide enough for me to lie down in comfort.
Always be kind to me. Talk to me. Your voice often means as much to me as the reins. Pet me sometimes, that I may serve you the more gladly and learn to love you. Do not jerk the reins, and do not whip me when going up hill. Never strike, beat or kick me when I do not understand what you want, but give me a chance to understand you. Watch me, and if I fail to do your bidding, see if something is not wrong with my harness or feet.
Do not check me so that I cannot have the free use of my head. If you insist that I wear blinders so that I cannot see behind me, as it was intended I should, I pray you to be careful that the blinders stand well out from my eyes.
Do not overload me, or hitch me where water will drip on me. Keep me well shod. Examine my teeth when I do not eat. I may have an ulcerated tooth, and that, you know, is very painful. Do not fix my head in an unnatural position, or take away my best defense against flies and mosquitoes by cutting off my tail.
I cannot tell you when I am thirsty, so give me clean cool water often. I cannot tell you in words when I am sick, so watch me, and by signs you may know my condition. Give me all possible shelter from the hot sun, and put a blanket on me not when I am working but when I am standing in the cold. Never put a frosty bit in my mouth. First warm it by holding it a moment in your hands.
And finally, O My Master, when my useful strength is gone, do not turn me out to starve or freeze, or sell me to some human brute, to be slowly tortured and starved to death; but do Thou, My Master, take my life in the kindest way, and your God will reward you Here and Hereafter. You will not consider me irreverent if I ask this in the name of Him who was born in a stable.
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