| Fifty Famous Stories Retold|
|by James Baldwin|
|Includes fifty legendary tales depicting certain romantic episodes in the lives of well-known heroes and famous men, or in the history of a people. Children naturally take a deep interest in such stories. The reading of them will not only give pleasure but will lay the foundation for broader literary studies, as nearly all are the subjects of frequent allusions in poetry and prose. Ages 6-9 |
ALEXANDER AND BUCEPHALUS
 ONE day King Philip bought a fine horse called
Bucephalus. He was a noble animal, and the king paid
a very high price for him. But he was wild
and savage, and no man could mount him, or do anything at
all with him.
They tried to whip him, but that only made him worse. At
last the king bade his servants take him away.
"It is a pity to ruin so fine a horse as that," said
Alexander, the king's young son. "Those men do not
know how to treat him."
"Perhaps you can do better than they," said his father
"I know," said Alexander, "that, if you would only give
me leave to try, I could manage this horse better than
any one else."
"And if you fail to do so, what then?" asked Philip.
"I will pay you the price of the horse," said the lad.
While everybody was laughing, Alexander ran up to
Bucephalus, and turned his head toward the sun. He had
noticed that the horse was afraid of his own shadow.
He then spoke gently to the horse, and patted
 him with his hand. When he had quieted him a little,
he made a quick spring, and leaped upon the horse's back.
Everybody expected to see the boy killed outright. But he
kept his place, and let the horse run as fast as he
would. By and by, when Bucephalus had become tired,
Alexander reined him in, and rode back to the place where
his father was standing.
All the men who were there shouted when they saw that the
boy had proved himself to be the master of the horse.
He leaped to the ground, and his father ran and kissed him.
"My son," said the king, "Macedon is too small a place for
you. You must seek a larger kingdom that will be worthy
After that, Alexander and Bucephalus were the best of
friends. They were said to be always together, for when
one of them was seen, the other was sure to be not far away.
But the horse would never allow any one to mount him but
Alexander became the most famous king and warrior
ever known; and for that reason he is always called
Alexander the Great. Bucephalus carried him through many
countries and in many fierce battles, and more than once did
he save his master's life.
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