A children's book from the 40s.Tells the tale of the arrival of the first Arabian horse into the UK and the founding of the breed of horses that race to this day.While I am prepared to accept that it may have elements of truth, it far too neatly falls into the realms of fairy tale story for me to accept that it is in any way a faithful representation of the story. Agba is a mute horseboy in the court of the Sultan. He has a favourite colt, a bay the colour of the sun, who he calls Sham. This horse is marked with a white spot of speed on his heel. Agba, Sham and 5 other pairs of boys & horses are selected as a great gift to the French King. Only they don't arrive in good condition, the horses being underfed and looking good for nothing but the knacker's yard on arrival. It then goes from bad to worse in France before he's rescued and brought to England. it doesn't go smoothly there either, still being put to work pulling carts, and as a mount at a stable rather the the racer Sham was destined to be. Sham never does win a race, but his offspring do, and he lives out his life in a pampered state. Agba is less lucky. The Sultan said that the horseboys were to stay with their horses until the horse died, and at that point the mute boy returns to Morocco.I found it a pleasant enough read, but was left with far too many unanswered questions. Agba seems never to communicate with anyone but the horse, so how come he managed to stay with it all the way through? How can this be a true story, if he can't communicate - how can he tell what he & the horse endured? It just didn't hold true to me. Having said that, it's a children's book. I never went through a horsey stage, but I imagine it would entrance any 8 year old who did.