Last Updated on September 30, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 356
Aram is the narrator of the short story. He is a nine-year-old Armenian boy and a member of the Garoghlanian family, who live in the San Joaquin Valley in California. The Garoghlanians are poor and cannot afford things like horses, and they are too honest to steal, which leads to Aram’s confusion as to why Mourad has the white horse in the first place. He has dreamed of riding a horse his entire life, and this desire leads him to justify Mourad’s actions and keep riding a horse that is not his own.
Mourad is Aram’s thirteen-year-old cousin. His family believes that he is “crazy” and that he has inherited the “crazy streak” from his uncle Khosrove. Nevertheless, Aram admires him for his way with animals and his ability to ride the horse. Mourad “borrows” the horse from John Byro by himself and keeps it hidden in a barn for over a month, but he eventually allows Aram to ride it, too, because he knows Aram longs to ride a horse someday.
Khosrove is Aram and Mourad’s “crazy” uncle. He is believed to be “the father of [Mourad’s] spirit,” though Mourad is not his direct descendent. He is a tall man who is always angry, impatient, and loud. Khosrove has a reputation for telling others to stop talking and ordering them to “pay no attention”; he said this even when his own house was burning.
John Byro is an Assyrian farmer and a friend of the Garoghlanian family. Aram discovers that Byro is the owner of the white horse when he comes to their house and tells Aram’s mother that his horse had been stolen. Byro relied on the horse for transportation; without it, he had to walk ten miles with a sore leg to get to Aram’s house. In the end, he chooses to believe his “heart” over his “eyes” and not accuse Aram and Mourad of stealing, though he notices their horse’s striking resemblance to his stolen one. His faith in the boys prompts them to return the horse to him.