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One of the themes of Saryoan's short story is the idea of redemption through actions. There is little doubt that Aram and Mourad did wrong by taking the horse. However, one of the most compelling elements of the story is that John Byro, the horse's owner, does not seek vengeance or extreme retribution for the actions. He understands that the boys understand that they should be accountable for their actions. In fact, the boys' taking of the horse results in the horse being better trained and also in greater conditioning. The redemptive powers of forgiveness, understanding, and community are themes that are enhanced through the short story.
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