This section of the book is from the "Stories of Animal Sagacity" book, by William Henry Giles Kingston.
Mrs F— mentions several instances of the sagacity of horses. Some horses in the county of Limerick, which were pastured in a field, broke bounds like a band of unruly schoolboys, and scrambling through a gap which they had made in a fence, found themselves in a narrow lane. Along the quiet by-road they galloped helter-skelter, at full speed, snorting and tossing their manes in the full enjoyment of their freedom, but greatly to the terror of a party of children who were playing in the lane. As the horses were seen tearing wildly along, the children scrambled up the bank into the hedge, and buried themselves in the bushes, regardless of thorns,—with the exception of one poor little thing, who, too small to run, fell down on its face, and lay crying loudly in the middle of the narrow way.
On swept the horses; but when the leader of the troop saw the little child lying in his path, he suddenly stopped, and so did the others behind him. Then stooping his head, he seized the infant’s clothes with his teeth, and carefully lifted it to the side of the road, laying it gently and quite unhurt on the tender grass. He and his companions then resumed their gallop in the lane, unconscious of having performed a remarkable act.
Learn a lesson from those wild Irish horses. As you hurry along in the joyousness of youth, reflect and look before you to see whether there lies not on your road some one who requires your help. Believe me, in your path through life you will find many poor little infants who require to be lifted up and placed in safety. Do not be less obedient to the promptings of duty than were those dumb animals to the reason or the instinct implanted in their breasts.