I was sorry for Ginger, but of course I knew very little then, and I thought most likely she made the worst of it; however, I found that as the weeks went on she grew much more gentle and cheerful, and had lost the watchful, defiant look that she used to turn on any strange person who came near her; and one day James said,
"I do believe that mare is getting fond of me, she quite whinnied after me this morning when I had been rubbing her forehead."
"Ay, ay, Jim, 'tis `the Birtwick balls'," said John, "she'll be as good as Black Beauty by and by; kindness is all the physic she wants, poor thing!"
Master noticed the change, too, and one day when he got out of the carriage and came to speak to us, as he often did, he stroked her beautiful neck.
"Well, my pretty one, well, how do things go with you now? You are a good bit happier than when you came to us, I think."
She put her nose up to him in a friendly, trustful way, while he rubbed it gently.
"We shall make a cure of her, John," he said.
"Yes, sir, she's wonderfully improved; she's not the same creature that she was; it's `the Birtwick balls', sir," said John, laughing.
This was a little joke of John's; he used to say that a regular course of "the Birtwick horseballs" would cure almost any vicious horse;
these balls, he said, were made up of patience and gentleness, firmness and petting, one pound of each to be mixed up with half a pint of common sense, and given to the horse every day.
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