This section of the book is from the "Stories of Animal Sagacity" book, by William Henry Giles Kingston.
The horse has been frequently known to recognise his rider after a long absence. He is also especially a sociable animal, and once accustomed to others of his kind, rarely forgets them. At the trumpet’s sound, the old war-horse pricks up his ears, snorts, and paws the ground, eager to join his ancient comrades.
Some years ago the assistant to a surveyor was employed to ride along a certain line of turnpike road, to see that the contractors were doing their work properly. He was mounted on a horse which had belonged to a field-officer; and, though aged, still possessed much spirit. It happened that a troop of yeomanry were out exercising on a neighbouring common. No sooner did the old horse espy the line of warriors, and hear the bugle-call, than, greatly to the dismay of his rider, he leaped the fence and was speedily at his post in front of the regiment; nor could the civilian equestrian induce him by any means to quit the ground till the regiment left it. As long as they kept the field, the horse remained in front of the troop; and then insisted on marching at their head into the town, prancing as well as his old legs would allow him, to the great amusement of the volunteers, and the no small annoyance of the clerk, who had thus been compelled to assume a post he would gladly have avoided.
Old habits cling to us as pertinaciously as did those of that ancient war-steed; and often when we flatter ourselves that they have been overcome, temptation appears, and we yield to them as of yore. Do you, my young friends, take heed to adopt only good habits, and adhere to them.