Charlie and the Horse. Short audio story narrated in American English.

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Story narrated by Jordan Gaither. You can read the complete story text below

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Text of this story

Charlie was a rich boy who had more toys than you could imagine. His family had a lot of money, and whenever he liked something, they would buy it for him.

In reality, then, he had no idea what things cost, and wouldn't bother to take care of what he had. Nor did he realise how difficult it was for other children to get toys like the ones he had.

A time came, though, when he was so used to all his toys and various stuff, that he began to want something different. One of his uncles found a fine horse and he gave it to Charlie, as something unusual. Charlie was very excited at having a horse. He learned to ride, and was constantly on his horse, going here and there.

However, he treated the horse just as badly as he did all his other toys, and it soon started looking neglected and sick. For the first time in his life Charlie became truly worried. He loved the horse, and the fact that his family had offered to swap it for a new one meant nothing to him.

One day, while in the countryside, he saw a girl with a horse. The girl looked very poor, but the horse seemed happy and looked great.

Wondering how she had managed this, Charlie secretly followed them, watching everything they did. First he followed them through the forest, where he saw that she never used the whip, and never hit the horse. This was the opposite of what Charlie had done to his horse, right from day one. Then they came to the stable, and as soon as they arrived the girl fed and watered the horse. Then she carefully groomed it. Charlie was surprised. He'd never done any of that for his horse. He saw that the girl spent a lot of time giving care and attention to her horse, and that she did it all on her own. This had never entered into Charlie's mind; he had always been too preoccupied with playing and having fun to look after the horse.

Charlie wanted to change and become like the girl. As no one had shown him how to do this, he went over to her and asked her to teach him how to look after his horse. After her initial surprise, she happily accepted. With her he learned how to put care and effort into things, and that if you did so you enjoyed them much more. He learned that you could be much happier with only a few special things that you truly cared for and looked after, than with thousands of toys that were only good for a short time and were then thrown aside.

But not everything was easy.
Charlie also learned that the care put into these things was sometimes difficult, and it needed dedication of time and effort to do it well. So much so, that it even crossed his mind to go back to his old way of treating his horse. However, when the horse finally recovered all its strength and splendour, that first ride, alongside the girl, made him so happy that a doubling of his effort would have been worthwhile.

As a result, Charlie gave up constantly asking for new toys. Grateful to his friend, he gave her many of his own toys, and more to the children of the village. He only kept those few toys he really liked. And, just as he had learned with the horse, he set himself to repairing and caring for those toys, so he could really enjoy playing with them.

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