The Pedigree of an Arab Thoroughbred

From Ten Thousand Wonderful Things, (Edmund Gillingham, ed. Routledge: London, 1894). An extraordinarily beautiful document attesting the pedigree of a horse acquired by a French officer.

Arabs make intimate friends of their horses, and so docile are these creatures that they are ridden without a bit, and never struck or spurred. They share their owner’s diet, and are as well cared for as a child. They divide their horses, however, into two kinds: The one they call kadischi, that is, horses of an unknown birth; the other, they call kochlani, that is, horses whose genealogy is known for thousands of years. They are direct descendants, so they say, of the stud of Solomon. The pedigree of an Arabian horse is hung round his neck soon after his birth, which is always properly witnessed and attested.

The following is the pedigree of a horse purchased by a French officer in Arabia:—”In the name of God, the merciful and compassionate, and of Saed Mahomed, agent of the high God, and of the companions of Mahommed, and of Jerusalem. Praised be the Lord, the Omnipotent Creator. This is a high-bred horse, and its colt’s tooth is here in a bag about his neck, with his pedigree, and of undoubted authority, such as no infidel can refuse to believe. He is the son of Rabbamy, out of the dam Labadah, and equal in power to his sire of the tribe of Zazhalah; he is finely moulded, and made for running like an ostrich. In the honours of relationship, he reckons Zuluah, sire of Mahat, sire of Kallac, and the unique Alket sire of Manasseh, sire of Alsheh, father of the race down to the famous horse, the sire of Lahalala; and to him be ever abundance of green meat, and corn, and water of life, as a reward from the tribe of Zazhalah; and may a thousand branches shade his carcass from the hyæna of the tomb, from the howling wolf of the desert; and let the tribe of Zazhalah present him with a festival within an enclosure of walls; and let thousands assemble at the rising of the sun in troops hastily, where the tribe holds up under a canopy of celestial signs within the walls, the saddle with the name and family of the possessor. Then let them strike the bands with a loud noise incessantly, and pray to God for immunity for the tribe of Zoab, the inspired tribe.”

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