The Red Pony: Top Ten Quotes

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Total Votes: 137
  1. Jody's first encounter with the pony: "A red pony colt was looking at him out of the stall. Its ears were forward and a light of disobedience was in its eyes. Its coat was rough and thick as an airedale's fur and its mane was long and tangled. Jody's throat collapsed in on itself and cut his breath short." (143)
  2. Billy Buck's advice to Jody while speculating on the boy's upcoming first time in Gabilan's saddle: "No matter how good a man is, there's always some horse can pitch him." (151)
  3. Jody's thoughts while taking a break from tending to the sick pony: "Jody walked to the brush line and sat on the edge of the mossy tub. He looked down at the house and at the old bunkhouse and at the dark cypress tree. The place was familiar, but curiously changed. It wasn't itself anymore, but a frame for things that were happening." (162)
  4. Following Jody's killing of the buzzard and his father's reminder that the buzzard did not kill the pony: "It was Billy Buck show was angry. He had lifted Jody in his arms, and had turned to carry him home. But he turned back on Carl Tifflin. 'Course he knows it,' Billy said furiously, 'Jesus Christ! man, can't you see how he'd feel about it?" (165)
  5. Carl Tifflin's joke comparing Gitano to Old Easter: If ham and eggs grew on a side-hill I'd turn you out to pasture too. But I can't afford to pasture you in my kitchen." (174)
  6. Jody's thoughts concerning Gitano after he has left with Old Easter: "Jody thought of the rapier and of Gitano. And he thought of the great mountains. A longing caressed him, and it was so sharp that he wanted to cry to get it out of his breast. He lay down in the green grass near the round tub at the brush line. He covered his eyes with his crossed arms and lay there a long time, and he was full of a nameless sorrow." (179)
  7. Nellie and her mate's first meeting: "With hoofs battering the ground the stallion appeared and charged down the hill trailing a broken halter rope. His eyes glittered feverishly. His stiff, erected nostrils were as red as flame. His black, sleek hide shone in the sunlight. The stallion came on so fast that he couldn't stop when he reached the mare. Nellie's ears went back; she whirled and kicked at him as he went by. The stallion spun around and reared. He struck the mare with his front hoof, and while she staggered under the blow his teeth raked her neck and few an ooze of blood." (184-5)
  8. Carl Tifflin praises his son: "Carl Tifflin came to the barn with Jody one day. He looked admiringly at the groomed bay coat, and he felt the firm flesh over the ribs and shoulders. 'You've done a good job,' he said to Jody. And this was the greatest praise he knew how to give. Jody was tight with pride for hours afterward." (193)
  9. Billy Buck after killing Nellie to save the colt: "Billy's face and arms and chest were dripping red. His body shivered and his teeth chattered. His voice ws gone; he spoke in a throaty whisper. 'There's your colt. I promised. And there it is. I had to do it-had to.'" (197)
  10. Jody's grandfather confesses what most matters to him about his past: "We carried life out here and set it down the way those ants carry eggs. And I was the leader. The westering was as big as God, and the slow steps that made the movement piled up and piled up until the continent was crossed. Then we came to the sea, and it was done.' He stopped and wiped his eyes until the rims were red. "That's what I should be telling instead of stories." (213)

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