Dateline: 5 February 2014
I cannot forego the memories of certain horses I knew, friends and companions of my younger days. They knew my voice, I knew their ways. We knew the roads and fields together. I rolled and stood upon their backs and somersaulted from them; they never told anybody. One fair horse, a gentle but a lively bay, Fred by right of name, was my special comrade until old age overtook him. Uncounted miles the bareback horse and the barefooted boy went alone in the wild new places. In those far-off days, before the woods and back lands were fenced, we hunted the cattle together day by day throughout the grazing seasons. Rangy and limber cattle they were, not carrying the cargo of milk of these later tamer times, and they went miles away when turned loose in the early morning. But Fred and I knew the tip-tap of their bells, and whether they were grazing, or walking, or laying down chewing the cud.
Old Fred, companion of a boy, is dead long years and years ago. He has no grave. No rites were said. For aught I know the elements that comprised his supple frame and gentle nature may have entered into other horses that boys have loved in later years. Perhaps they too have gone away together in twilight and at noon and have come to the Gates of Wonder.
—Liberty Hyde Bailey
The Harvest of The Year To The Tiller of The Soil (1927)