The Summer of the beautiful white Horse

This story is about two poor Armenian boys who belong to a tribe whose hallmarks are trust and honesty.

ONE day back there in the good old days when I was nine and the world was full of every imaginable kind of magnificence , and life was still a delightful and mysterious dream , my cousin Mourad , who was considered crazy by everybody who knew him except me , came to my house at four in the morning and woke me up tapping on the window of my room .
 Aram , he said
l jumped out of bed and looked out of the window . I couldn ' t believe what I saw . It wasn ' t morning yet , but it was summer and with daybreak not many minutes around the corner of the world it was light enough for me to know I wasn ' t dreaming .
 . My cousin Mourad was sitting on a beautiful white horse . I stuck my head out of the window and rubbed my eyes . . Yes , he said in Armenian . It ' s a horse . You ' re not dreaming . Make it quick if you want to ride .

I knew my cousin Mourad enjoyed being alive more than anybody else who had ever fallen into the world by mistake . but this was more than even I could believe .
 In the first place , my earliest memories had been memories of horses and my first longings had been longings to ride . This was the wonderful part
 In the second place , we were poor . This was the part that wouldn ' t permit me to believe what I sawa We were poor . We had no money . our whole tribe was poverty - stricken . Every branch of the Garoghlanian ' family was livina in the most amazing and comical poverty in the world . Nobody could understand where we ever got money enough to keep us with food in our bellies , not even the old men of the family . Most important of all , though , we were famous for our honesty . We had been famous for our honesty for something like eleven centuries , even when we had been the wealthiest family in what we liked to think was the world . We were proud first , honest next , and after that we believed in right and wrong . None of us would take advantage of anybody in the world , let alone steal .
Consequently , even though I could see the horse , so magnificent ; even though I could smell it , so lovely , even though | could hear it breathing , so exciting ; I couldn ' t believe the horse had anything to do with my cousin Mourad or with me or with any of the other members of our family , asleep or awake , because I knew my cousin Mourad couldn ' t have bought the horse , and if he couldn ' t have bought it he must have stolen it , and I refused to believe he had stolen it .
No member of the Garoghlanian family could be a thief . I stared first at my cousin and then at the horse . There was a pious stillness and humour in each of them which on the one hand delighted me and on the other frightened me .
 Mourad , I said , where did you steal this horse ?
Leap out of the window , he said , if you want to ride .
It was true , then . He had stolen the horse . There was no question about it . He had come to invite me to ride or not , as I chose .
 Well , it seemed to me stealing a horse for a ride was not the same thing as stealing something else . such as money . For all I knew , maybe it wasn ' t stealing at all . If you were crazy about

ses the way my cousin Mourad and I were , it wasn ' t stealing . wouldn ' t become stealing until we offered to sell the horse , which of course , I knew we would never do . Let me put on some clothes , I said . All right , he said , but hurry . | leaped into my clothes . | jumped down to the yard from the window and leaped up onto the horse behind my cousin Mourad . That year we lived at the edge of town , on Walnut Avenue . Behind our house was the country : vineyards , orchards , irrigation ditches , and country roads . In less than three minutes we were on Olive Avenue , and then the horse began to trot . The air was new and lovely to breathe . The feel of the horse running was wonderful . My cousin Mourad who was considered one of the craziest members of our family began to sing . I mean , he began to roar . Every family has a crazy streak in it somewhere , and my cousin Mourad was considered the natural descendant of the crazy streak in our tribe . Before him was our uncle Khosrove , an enormous man with a powerful head of black hair and the largest moustache in the San Joaquin Valley , a man so furious in temper , so irritable , so impatient that he stopped anyone from talking by roaring , It is no harm ; pay no attention to it . That was all , no matter what anybody happened to be talking about . Once it was his own son Arak running eight blocks to the barber ' s shop where his father was having his moustache trimmed to tell him their house was on fire . This man Khosrove sat up in the chair and roared , It is no harm ; pay no attention to it . The barber said , But the boy says your house is on fire . So Khosrove roared , Enough , it is no harm , I say . My cousin Mourad was considered the natural descendant of this man , although Mourad ' s father was Zorab , who was practical and nothing else . That ' s how it was in our tribe . A man could be the father of his son ' s flesh , but that did not mean that he was also the father of his spirit . The distribution of the various kinds of spirit of our tribe had been from the beginning capricious and vagrant . We rode and my cousin Mourad sang . For all anybody knew we were still in the old country where , at least according to