The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse

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"The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse" is a short story by William Saroyan, published within the collection My Name Is Aram [1] (1940). It tells the story of two boys, Aram and Mourad, who belong to a very poor Armenian tribe.

Plot summary[edit]

“The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse” is narrated by nine-year-old Aram Garoghlanian, a member of an Armenian community living among the lush fruit orchards and vineyards of California. One morning Aram is awakened at four in morning by his thirteen-year-old cousin Mourad, who is thought to be demented by everyone except Aram, and has a way with animals. Aram is astonished to see that Mourad is sitting on a beautiful white horse. Aram has always wanted to ride a horse, but his family is too poor to afford one. However, in spite of being poor, the Garoghlanian tribe is noted for its honesty, and trust, as a result it is unthinkable that Mourad would have stolen the horse. Aram felt that his cousin couldn't have stolen the horse.

Aram was invited to ride on the horse with Mourad. The idea of Mourad stealing the horse drained away from Aram's mind as when he felt that it wouldn't become stealing until they offer to sell the horse. They enjoyed rides on the horse for a few hours. Mourad's crazy behavior was considered to be of natural descent from their uncle Khosrov, even though his father, Zorab, was a practical man. Uncle Khosrove was an enormous man who was always furious, impatient, and irritable. He would roar for everyone to stop talking and say It is no harm, pay no attention to it. In fact,one day, when his son came and told them that their house was on fire, Khosrov silenced him by roaring "Enough. It is no harm". After a short time of riding, Mourad wanted to ride alone on the horse. Aram had the same longing, but when he sat on the horse and kicked its muscles it reared and snorted and raced forward, eventually dropping Aram off its back. After half an hour they found the horse and hid it in the barn of a deserted vineyard of a farmer named Fetvajian which had once been his pride.

That afternoon, an Assyrian farmer named John Byro—an Assyrian friend of the Garoghlanians—came to Aram's house. He reported to Aram's mother that his white horse which had been stolen a month ago was still missing. Hearing this, Aram concludes that, Mourad must have had the horse for a long time. Khosrove, who was at Aram's house when Byro came, shouted -“it's no harm" to such an extent that Byro was forced to leave to avoid responding.

Aram ran to Mourad to inform him about Byro's arrival. Aram also pleads with Mourad not to return the horse until he could learn to ride. Mourad disagrees saying that Aram would take at least a year to learn, but promises he would keep it for six months at most. This became a routine. Mourad came daily to pick Aram to ride, and Aram continuously fell off the horse's back after every attempt. Two weeks later, when they were going to take the horse back to its hiding place, they met Byro on the road. The farmer was extremely surprised. He recognised his horse but refused to believe that the boys had stolen it. He said "the horse is the twin of my horse" and "a suspicious man would believe his eyes instead of his heart”, but Byro, knowing the Garoghlanian tribe for its honesty, discarded his suspicion and left. This incident apparently struck the children's conscience. They returned the horse to Bryo, thus preventing the fame of their tribe from crashing down, as their honesty is the main objective for them.


  1. ^ Saroyan, William (1904). My Name is Aram. Dell Pub Co. ISBN 9780440362050.