By James Baldwin
BeeOasis Step 2
Philip was the king of Macedon, a kingdom in ancient Greece. During his life, he had seven wives and seven children. His most famous son was called Alexander. Alexander studied with the philosopher Aristotle. And by the time he was thirty, Alexander created one of the greatest and largest kingdoms in the ancient world. Today he is known as Alexander the Great.
In this story, we learn about the meeting between Alexander and one of the most famous horses in ancient history. The horse’s name was Bucephalus. He was a massive creature with a massive head. His coat was shiny black, and he had a white star on the front of his brow.
King Philip bought Bucephalus. He paid a very high price for the magnificent animal. But Bucephalus was wild and fierce, and no man could mount him, or do anything with him at all. They tried to whip him, but that only made things worse. At last the king ordered his servants to take the animal away.
“It is a pity to ruin such a fine horse,” said Alexander, the king’s son, who was just a boy of thirteen years of age. “Those men do not know how to treat him.”
“So you think you can do better than these strong men,” his father said looking down on the boy.
“I know I can,” said Alexander. “If you would only give me a chance to try, I could manage this horse better than anyone else.”
“And if you fail to do so, what then?” asked Philip.
“I will pay you the price of the horse,” said the boy.
While everybody was laughing, Alexander ran up to Bucephalus. He turned the horse’s head toward the sun because he noticed that the horse was afraid of his own shadow.
He then spoke gently to the horse, and patted him with his hand. When he had calmed him a little, he made a quick spring and jumped up on the horse’s back.
Everybody expected to see the boy killed right away. But he kept his place and let the horse run as fast as he would. By and by, Bucephalus became tired, and Alexander gained control of the animal. Alexander then rode back to the place where his father was standing.
All the men who were there shouted for joy. They saw that the boy had shown himself to be the master of the horse. Alexander leaped to the ground, and his father ran and kissed him.
“My son,” said the king, “Macedon is too small a kingdom for you. You must seek a larger kingdom that will be worthy of you.”
After that, Alexander and Bucephalus were the best of friends. They were always together, for when one of them was seen, the other was sure to be nearby. But the horse would never allow anyone to mount him but his master.
Alexander became the most famous king and warrior that was ever known. For that reason he is always called Alexander the Great. Bucephalus carried him through many countries and in many fierce battles, and more than once the great horse saved his master’s life.