Here is the second part of the story of "The Bell of Atri:"
The knight decided not to keep the horse any longer. He opened the pasture gate and sent the horse out to wander the countryside. It was a hot summer, and the sun had dried up the grass.
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The horse did not understand what was happening. He only knew he was hungry. When he couldn't find enough to eat at the side of the road, he didn't know what to do.
The hungry horse went from farm to farm looking for something to eat, but there were fences around the fields. The horse could not reach any of the hay or fresh grass. He just kept walking.
Not wanting to be a bother, the horse did his best to stay out of everyone's way. He wandered the back roads to find some grass to nibble, but he couldn't find enough. He became thinner and thinner.
One day the horse was trudging slowly along the road into the town of Atri. He was feeling very sad. The horse walked along with his head hanging low, hoping to spot a tuft of grass or two. A nibble here, a nibble there, and without knowing it, he was at the edge of the town.
He looked up from his place on the road. The horse could see right into the center of town. Then something caught the hungry horse's eye. He craned his neck forward to be sure he was seeing correctly.
Sure enough, there was a juicy green vine hanging down from a bell. A bright green leaf almost touched the ground. The horse couldn't believe his eyes.
The bright leaf looked especially delicious to the hungry horse.
He went the rest of the way into the square. No one was in sight, so he walked right up to the green vine. He took the lowest leaf in his mouth, closed his eyes, and began to chew.
The leaf was so tender, and it tasted so good! He couldn't remember the last time he had eaten anything so delicious. The hungry horse then worked his way up the vine to the next leaf and ate that.
He began eating faster. When the horse had finished eating the leaves within reach, he began to pull on the vine so he could reach the leaves that were higher up.
When the old horse pulled on the vine, the bell of Atri rang out loud and clear. It seemed to say, "Ding dong! The knight did wrong!"
The good people of Atri heard the bell of justice ringing. They quickly gathered in the town square to find out who had been wronged.
When the mayor heard the bell, he put on his robe and called for his assistant. "We must go and make sure justice is served," said the mayor. They went to the bell.
Find out what happens next in "The Bell of Atri" on the following page.
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