The Black Stallion Walter Farley

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The Black Stallion

Walter Farley

Notes by Mrs. Goeke

Chapter 1..."Homeward Bound"

  • Alexander Ramsay - (Alec) hair and freckles

  • Alec had spent two months in India with his Uncle Ralph who was a missionary.

  • Uncle Ralph had taught Alec to ride a horse and had given him a pocket knife because he said that it might come in handy.

  • Captain Watson was the captain of the steam ship The Drake which was on the way to London. Alec was to then take the ship, The Majestic, to New York.

  • The Drake stopped at an Arabian port and Alec watched a wild Black stallion being brought aboard. It was a giant horse... a wild creature...a stallion born in the wild.

  • Each night Alec would leave sugar cubes on the sill for the stallion.

Chapter 2 - "The Storm"

  • Alec noticed that the Black had strong, powerful legs which Uncle Ralph said was a sign of a horse's speed and endurance.

  • The horse's handler did not have a life jacket and panicked. He tried to rip the jacket off of Alec, but the Captain threw him off. The man tried to jump into a life boat but fell into the water and drowned.

  • Alec went to the stall to set the stallion free so that he would have a chance at life.

  • There was an explosion on the ship and no lifeboat for Alec. He saw the Black swimming not more than 10 yards away with a rope still around his neck. Alec decided that he would rather die with the Black than alone.

  • Alec was pulled by the Black and with the help of the life jacket he was able to keep his head above water.

  • The Drake sank.

  • The stallion and Alec swam for hours. During this time he stopped four times during the night.

  • Suddenly, Alec saw a small island and realized they were riding the waves into shore.

  • The Black dragged Alec onto the beach but was able to cut himself free with the knife his Uncle had given him.

Chapter 3 "The Island"

  • The island was not more than two miles in circumference.

  • It was barren except for a few trees, bushes and burned grass.

  • The island had high rock cliffs.

  • Alec worried if he would be safe from the stallion.

  • The Black whistled and pawed at Alec until Alec saw the spring. Alec drank and bathed.

  • Alec found some berries to eat, but there were not many berry bushes and little grass. Alec knew food would be a problem.

  • No birds or animals were visible on the island.

  • Shelter was needed. Alec found some driftwood and put it between two scrub trees. Suddenly, he saw the name "The Drake" printed on the wood and realized it was part of one of the lifeboats.

  • He used seaweed to stuff the holes of the structure and made a spear and tried to spear a fish. He speared his first fish the next day, but only caught one more fish.

  • Alec built a fire using straw, his knife and a stick.

  • Alec was worried about starvation and knew that if he killed the Black he could eat horsemeat. He also knew that he could not kill the Black who had saved his life.

  • Alec remembered learning in Biology class about carragheen which is a form of seaweed. It is edible if washed and dried. The moss on the island smelled the same as in the classroom. Alec and the Black ate the carragheen and drank from the spring. He had found food for both him and the Black.

Chapter 4 "The Wildest of All Wild Creatures"

  • While Alec was searching for carragheen he heard the stallion scream. The stallion was on his hind legs, teeth bared and pawing at the earth. Alec realized that Black had killed a poisonous snake and wondered if he had done so to save Alec's life.

  • Days passed and the stallion now came at Alec's call.

  • Alec was tired of the carragheen, but found if he boiled it in the turtle shell it tasted better than raw moss.

  • Alec learned to ride the stallion after being thrown off several times.

  • The Black was amazingly fast, but soon Alec learned to control the stallion while improving his own riding skills.

  • Alec calculated that he had been on the island for nineteen days and worried that his family thought him to be dead.

  • The Black now whistled when he saw Alec and followed behind him.

  • Alec was sleeping when he heard the stallion scream. Alec realized that the top of the shelter was on fire, and smoke filled the air. Two trees caught on fire.

  • Alec realized that he would have to sleep outside with the Black if he did not figure a way to build another shelter. For the first time, he began to worry about the weather turning cold.

  • Suddenly the Black snorted as he reached the top of the hill...Alec looked out and saw a ship anchored off the island and heard voices.

  • They were rescued! The ship's crew had seen the fire!

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