Part Ten: A voyage to the Country of the Houybnbnms
I was very happy to reach home safely, and I decided to stay in England
for a long time. Then someone offered me a ship of my own, the Adventure,
and I left- England once again.
Many of the crew of the Adventure became ill on the journey, and some of
them died. Soon there were not enough sailors to drive the ship. I decided to
stop in Barbados to find more sailors. This was a mistake, however, because
many of the new sailors were really pirates.
The new sailors waited until the ship was at sea, and then they attacked me,
and one of them took command of the ship. They stopped the ship when
they saw land, and they left me there. No one knew the name of the country.
Once again, I was alone in a foreign land.
I did not know if there were people in this country, but I decided to look
for a village or town. I walked for a long time, but I did not see any
buildings, or any farms. At last I saw several animals in a field. These
animals were very ugly, and looked a little like monkeys. I watched them for
a while, and then continued my walk.
While I was walking, one of these animals came up to me. It raised one of
its hands, and tried to touch me on the face. I took out my sword, and hit the
animal to drive it away. The animal cried out angrily, and about forty of
the horrible creatures appeared. They surrounded me, and began shouting
and making noises. I was frightened, and I hoped someone would come to
Suddenly all the animals ran away. This surprised me, because I did not
see anyone. There was only a horse walking quietly by itself. The horse
came close to me, and looked at me for a long time. It walked around me,
and it seemed very interested in me.
Soon another horse appeared, and a very strange thing happened. The two
horses looked at each other, and both of them made the same noise. They
seemed to talk to each other!
'This is a wonderful country,' I thought. 'The horses talk to each other! I
want to see the people, to find out if they are as wonderful as the horses.'
At that moment the horses came very close to me, and touched my hands
and face. They were very gentle, and they did not hurt me. Then they made a
low noise, and I understood that they wanted me to follow them.
The horses and I walked for about three miles, until we arrived at a large
building. I was happy to see a building.
'The people here will help me' I thought, 'once they know I want to go
back to England.'
We entered the building, and I was very surprised that there were no
people in it. It was full of horses. Some of them were sitting down, which I
thought was very strange. Others were working to prepare food. Then they
took me into another room of the building. There was another horse in this
room, and he seemed very important. The other horses behaved with great
respect to the master horse. When he saw me, he said something. I heard the
word Yahoo. The other horses repeated this word with anger and contempt.
Then we all went to another building, and I saw some of the horrible
animals which had attacked me. They were very dirty, and they were tied
with ropes. The master horse looked at the creatures, and then looked at me.
All the horses were silent for a moment, and the master horse said the word
Yahoo again. I looked at the ugly animals, and suddenly I was horrified.
They were dirty, and they were covered in hair, but they were people!
Now we went back to the first building. The master horse was very
surprised when I tried to use some of the words of their language. He tried to
teach me more words, and he was very pleased that I could repeat them.
I am good at learning languages, and after ten weeks I was able to
understand the horses when they spoke to me. I learnt that they called
themselves Houhnhnm, which means horse. The master horse told me that
they called the ugly creatures Yahoos.
'We thought you were a Yahoo as well,' he told me. 'You look the same,
but you are intelligent and clean. When you spoke to us, we didn't know
what to think. Yahoos can never learn to speak our language.'
I told him that I came from a different country. Then I told him about
some of my adventures. When I told him about the ship, he looked unhappy.
'It's impossible,' he said. 'There isn't a country over the sea. And I don't
understand this story of a ship. I don't know what a ship is, but it's
impossible for creatures like you to make one. A Houyhnhnm couldn't make
one - how could you?'
'In my country,' I explained to him, 'everything is different. The animals
you call Yahoos are intelligent, like me. Horses in my country are not
'I don't believe you,' he replied. 'It's impossible to imagine a country where
Yahoos are intelligent - and I cannot imagine a country where Houyhnhnms
are not intelligent. You are inventing this story.'
Then I told the master horse about life in England. I explained that we use
horses to pull carriages, and that we ride upon their backs. Again, he did not
seem to think this was possible.
'Horses do not allow Yahoos to ride upon their backs,' he told me. 'What
you say is impossible.'
I told him about the history of England and our famous wars with our
'This thing called war,' he said, 'is difficult for me to understand. You seem
intelligent creatures, but you kill each other. It is a good thing you are not
strong like horses - you cannot bite each other, or hurt each other very
'You are wrong,' I told him. 'It is true that our bodies are not strong, but we
have very powerful weapons. We have bombs, guns, pistols, and swords.
Many people are killed during our wars.'
Now the master horse was angry. He looked at me very seriously.
'Then your people are worse than the Yahoos we have here,' he said. 'The
Yahoos here are stupid and horrible, it's true. But your people are intelligent,
and there is no excuse for them.'
One day the master horse called me to him.
'I have been thinking about your people,' he said. 'I think I understand you
now. It is true that you are intelligent, and the Yahoos here are not intelligent.
They are stupid and wicked. But your people are intelligent and wicked -
that's the difference between you and the Yahoos!'
During my stay with the Houyhnhnms I began to understand and admire
them. They live very simple lives, and they love friendship and truth. They
never fight with each other, and they never argue. They believe they can use
their intelligence to solve all problems.
I began to understand the Houyhnhnms, and I began to hate human beings.
The Houyhnhnms were gentle and noble, and human beings are violent
and stupid. I knew that we were Yahoos. I was ashamed of being a Yahoo.
I listened to many conversations between the master horse and his friends.
They spoke very wisely, and I grew to love them. I wanted to spend the rest
of my life with the Houyhnhnms. But one day the master horse came to see
'I have something to tell you,' he said. 'The great Assembly of the
Houyhnhnms has made a decision about you. They say that you are a Yahoo,
and they want you to leave. I am sorry, but you must go back to your own
This was very bad news for me. I did not want to return to England, and to
the world of the Yahoos. I knew I must obey, however, and I built myself a
little boat for the journey. All my Houyhnhnm friends came to say goodbye
to me on the day I left their country.
I stopped my little boat at an island in the middle of the sea. There was a
ship here from Portugal, and the sailors captured me. They took me to
their captain, Don Pedro. He was very kind to me, and he said that I could
travel to England with him.
'I don't want to come with you,' I said. 'I'm just a Yahoo - leave me alone.'
Don Pedro did not understand what I was talking about, and he asked me
to explain. I told him the story of my adventure with the Houyhnhnms.
'They are very good, and they taught me a lot,' I said. 'Now I don't like
people - we're all just stupid Yahoos!'
Don Pedro persuaded me to return to England and my family. At first I
did not want to see my family or my children. I did not want to live with
I have now been back at home for five years, and I am still unhappy. I
have had so many adventures, and I have learnt the truth about people. We
are Yahoos. The knowledge makes me very sad. I miss my friends, the