The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse

by William Saroyan

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Describe the boys' horse ride in "The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse."

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The first time we see the two boys, Aram and Mourad, they ride the horse before sunrise when daybreak is "not many minutes around the corner". Mourad rides the horse to Aram's window and beckons him to come outside. They ride together from Aram's house, from Walnut Avenue and then down Olive Avenue. The horse begins to run and Mourad, described by Aram as being the inheritor of their tribe's "crazy streak," begins to sing and roar. After a time, Mourad tells Aram to dismount because he wants to ride alone.

Riding alone, Mourad races the horse around a field and through an irrigation ditch in the space of about five minutes. When he returns he is "dripping wet." Mourad then lets Aram ride the horse alone. At first, the horse does not move for Aram, but then after Aram kicks his heels into the horse, it begins to run into a vineyard. After leaping over seven grapevines, the horse throws Aram off and runs away.

Mourad and Aram find the horse after about half an hour and walk it back to a barn to hide it. They ride it again every morning for the next two weeks; every day, it runs through the vineyard and throws Aram off. On the final day the boys are on the horse and run into John Byro, the horse's owner. The boys then return the horse to John Byro's stable without alerting him that it was the same horse and that they had him all along.

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In the story, Aram awakes to find his older cousin, Mourad, at his window with a stolen horse. Although it is still nighttime, the day is about to break, and Aram describes the air as being "lovely" and "new." Mourad tells Aram that if he gets dressed, they can go and ride the horse together.

The boys take the horse to the countryside behind Aram's house. Aram describes the feeling of being on the running horse as "wonderful." While the horse runs, Mourad sings a song to express his enjoyment. The boys let the horse run for as long as it wants to.

When the horse finally stops, Aram says that he wants to ride it alone. Mourad agrees but decides to ride first. Mourad kicks his heels into the horse, and it begins to run. For Aram, this is the "loveliest thing he has ever seen." Unfortunately, when it is his turn to ride, the horse first refuses to move--before running and throwing him off. It heads in the direction of an irrigation ditch, and it takes thirty minutes before Mourad is able to find it.

Although Aram's first experience is not a positive one, he is not deterred. Mourad tells him that as he gets older, he will learn how to understand horses.

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