A Horse and Two Goats

Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Viking Press edition of A Horse and Two Goats published in 1970.
A Horse and Two Goats Quotes
Of the seven hundred thousand villages dotting the map of India… Kritam was probably the tiniest, indicated on the…map by a microscopic dot, the map being meant more for the revenue official out to collect tax than for the guidance of the motorist, who in any case could not hope to reach it since it sprawled far from the highway but its size did not prevent its giving itself the grandiose name Kritam, which meant in Tamil…“crown” on the brow of this subcontinent.
Related Symbols: The Highway
Page Number: 5
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He knew that if he obeyed her she would somehow conjure up some food for him in the evening. Only he must be careful not to argue and irritate her… She was sure to go out and work – grind corn in the Big House, sweep or scrub somewhere, and earn enough to buy foodstuff and keep a dinner ready for him in the evening.
Related Characters: Muni, Muni’s Wife
Page Number: 9
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He passed through the village with his head bowed in thought. He did not want to look at anyone or be accosted. A couple of cronies…hailed him, but he ignored their call. They had known him in the days of affluence when he lorded over a flock of fleecy sheep, not the miserable gawky goats that he had today…but all this seemed like the memoirs of a previous birth.
Related Characters: Muni
Related Symbols: The Highway
Page Number: 9
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The shopman had said that he was seventy. At seventy, one only waited to be summoned by God. When he was dead what would his wife do? They had lived in each other’s company since they were children… He had thrashed her only a few times in their career, and later she had the upper hand… He avoided looking at anyone [in the village; they all professed to be so high up, and everyone else in the village had more money than he. “I am the poorest fellow in our caste and no wonder that they spurn me, but I won’t look at them either.”
Related Characters: Muni, Muni’s Wife, The Shopkeeper
Page Number: 10-11
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Only on the outskirts [of the village] did he lift his head and look up… He sat on [the statue’s] pedestal for the rest of the day. The advantage of this was that he could watch the highway and see the lorries and buses pass through to the hills, and it gave him a sense of belonging to a larger world.
Related Characters: Muni
Related Symbols: The Kalki Statue , The Highway
Page Number: 11
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The horse was nearly life-size, moulded out of clay, baked, burnt, and brightly coloured, and reared its head proudly, prancing its forelegs in the air and flourishing its tail in a loop; beside the horse stood a warrior... None in the village remembered the splendours no one noticed its existence. Even Muni, who spent all his waking hours at its foot, never bothered to look up… This statue had been closer to the population of the village at one time, when this spot bordered the village; but when the highway was laid through (or perhaps when the tank and wells dried up completely here) the village moved a couple of miles inland.
Related Characters: Muni
Related Symbols: The Kalki Statue , The Highway
Page Number: 11-12
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Muni shrank away from the [foreigner’s] card. Perhaps [the foreigner] was trying to present a warrant and arrest him. Beware of khaki, one part of his mind warned. Take all the cigarettes or bhang or whatever is offered, but don’t get caught. Beware of khaki.
Related Characters: Muni, The Red-Faced Foreigner
Page Number: 15
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“Please, please. I will speak slowly…Can’t you understand even a simple word of English? Everyone in this country seems to know English. I have got along with English everywhere in this country, but you don't speak it. Have you any religious or spiritual scruples against English speech?”

Related Characters: The Red-Faced Foreigner (speaker), Muni
Page Number: 16
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“You see, last August, we probably had the hottest summer in history, and I was working in shirt-sleeves in my office on the fortieth floor of the Empire State Building. We had a power failure one day, you know, and there I was stuck for four hours, no elevator, no air conditioning. All the way in the train I kept thinking, and the minute I reached home in Connecticut, I told my wife Ruth, ‘We will visit India this winter, it's time to look at other civilizations.’”

Related Characters: The Red-Faced Foreigner (speaker), Muni
Page Number: 16
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“I don’t want to seem to have stopped here for nothing. I will offer you a good price for this," he said, indicating the horse. He had concluded without the least doubt that Muni owned this mud horse. Perhaps he guessed by the way he sat at its pedestal, like other souvenir-sellers in this country presiding over their wares.

Related Characters: The Red-Faced Foreigner (speaker), Muni
Related Symbols: The Kalki Statue
Page Number: 18
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"This is our guardian, it means death to our adversaries. At the end of Kali Yuga, this world and all other worlds will be destroyed, and the Redeemer will come in the shape of a horse called 'Kalki'; this horse will come to life and gallop and trample down all bad men… [T]he oceans are going to close over the earth in a huge wave and swallow us—this horse will grow bigger than the biggest wave and carry on its back only the good people and kick into the floods the evil ones.”

Related Characters: Muni (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Kalki Statue
Page Number: 19-20
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“I assure you that this will have the best home in the USA. I’ll push away the bookcase, you know I love books and am a member of five book clubs…the TV may have to be shifted too… I’m going to keep him right in the middle of the room. I don’t see how that can interfere with the party––we’ll stand around him and have our drinks.”

Related Characters: The Red-Faced Foreigner
Related Symbols: The Kalki Statue
Page Number: 20
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“Lend me a hand and I can lift off the horse from its pedestal after picking out the cement at the joints. We can do anything if we have a basis of understanding” … He flourished a hundred-rupee currency note… The old man now realized that some financial element was entering their talk. He peered closely at the currency note, the like of which he had never seen in his life… He laughed to himself at the notion of anyone coming to him for changing a thousand- or ten-thousand-rupee note.

Related Characters: The Red-Faced Foreigner (speaker), Muni
Related Symbols: The Kalki Statue
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:
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