The Bell of Atri

The Bell of Atri Part III
The townspeople decided the horse deserved justice.
The townspeople decided the horse deserved justice.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Below is the conclusion to "The Bell of Atri."

The people in Atri were astonished at the sight of the old horse tugging at the vine. The horse was so hungry he didn't even notice the people.

"This is the old knight's horse. This noble steed served the knight well for years in many a fierce battle. He was always a brave and loyal horse."

"Now he is a hungry horse without a good home," said a little girl.

"The horse deserves justice just as much as any person," said the mayor. "Send for the knight!"

The knight was brought to the square. Then the mayor looked at him and began his address. "Knight," said the mayor, "this horse was your faithful servant for years when he was young. Now that he is old, you have turned him away to find food and shelter for himself, even though you have plenty of money to care for him."

The townsfolk shouted, "Hear, hear!"

The mayor continued, "Knight, I hereby decree that you should pay for this horse to be properly sheltered and fed for the rest of his life."

The townsfolk cheered, "Hip! Hip! Hooray!" They knew justice had been served.

At the knight's home, the mayor's assistant took enough of the knight's gold to pay for the proper care of the horse for the rest of his days.

The people of Atri used some of the knight's money to build a new stable for the horse. They took turns making sure the old horse always had plenty of hay and fresh water.

The children were especially fond of the old hero. They were always coming to feed him a tasty carrot or sugar cube. Sometimes they would ride on the horse's back and pretend that they were knights. The horse felt very loved, and he was very happy.

The horse finished his life very happily.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Just as before, the people of Atri were for the most part honest and decent. They treated each other well, so the bell of Atri was seldom rung. But the story of how the old horse rang the bell for justice was told often.

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