A Horse and Two Goats, R.K Narayan

A Horse and Two Goats is an exceptional symphony of R. K. Narayan, which follows a very impressive and restrained style. It is a short story with comical touches.

A Horse and Two Goats, R.K NarayanA Horse and Two Goats is one of the gems from R.K. Narayan. The author has contributed immensely to the development of literature. `A Horse and Two Goats` reflects the conversation between Muni and a red-faced American depicting the differences in their thoughts. The title signifies the feeling of Muni when he was selling his two goats to the American though that was only a piece of statue.
A Horse and Two Goats, R.K Narayan
The author R. K. Narayan is one of the popular Indian writers writing in English. As a novelist he upholds the Indian essence in all his works rather than adopting traditional Western style. He was also an excellent short story teller. He wrote many short stories, which are published collectively under many headings. `A Horse and Two Goats` did not achieve a wide international audience until 1970 when it became the title story of R. K. Narayan`s seventh collection of short stories. It was `A Horse and Two Goats and Other Stories`. It reached an even wider audience in 1985 when it was included in Under the Banyan Tree, Narayan`s tenth and best-selling collection. By this time Narayan was well established as one of the most prominent Indian authors writing in English in the 20th century. Narayan is best known for his fourteen novels and stories, many of which are placed in the fictional town of Malgudi. However, the story of `A Horse and Two Goats` does not unfurl in Malgudi. This story is considered a fine example of Narayan`s deftness in creating engaging characters and humorous dialogues.

Synopsis of "A Horse and Two Goats" by R.K Narayan 

The book `A horse and two Goats` was first published in Chennai, in a newspaper named `The Hindu` in 1960. The story presents a comic dialogue between Muni, a poor Tamil-speaking villager, and a wealthy English-speaking businessman from New York. They are engaged in a conversation in which neither can understand the other`s language. With gentle humour, Narayan explores the conflicts between rich and poor and between Indian and Western cultures as well.

The story of `A horse and two Goats` is told in two parts. The first one where the set up of Muni and his life in Kritam is described and the second part deal with the meeting of the businessman and Muni. The first part is mainly to give Muni a kind of depth, and also to make the second part credible to the readers. At the end, it would seem a victory for Muni, who is now in possession of more money than he has held in his life. Beneath the seeming victory, there can be another hidden meaning that ancient India is selling its heritage cheaply, at the cost of its spirituality. There is a lack of interest by the people in the horse and warrior statue and this may generate the need of the highways of present day.

Being published by the Bodley Head Ltd., Hind Packet Books, New Delhi, Viking Press, etc. `A Horse and two Goats` is a wonderful short story written by R. K. Narayan that includes a charming conservation between a native and a foreigner.

Summary of “A horse and two goats”
In ”A Horse And Two Goats,” Muni, an old peasant who has lost everything but his goats, tethers them to the trunk of a ”drumstick tree that grew in front of his hut and from which occasionally Muni could shake down drumsticks. This morning he got six. He carried them in with a sense of triumph. Although no one could say precisely who owned the tree, it was his because he lived in its shadow.” In the morning of the day covered in the story, before Muni meets the red-faced American who will apparently change their fortunes, his wife scolds him: ” ‘You are getting no sauce today, nor anything else. I can’t find anything to give you to eat. Fast till the evening, it’ll do you good. Take the goats and be gone now,’ she cried, and added, ‘Don’t come back before the sun is down.’ Perhaps a large progeny would have brought him the blessing of the gods.” But the American passing through their village mistakes the statue of a horse on the outskirts for Muni’s property and buys it for 100 rupees. Muni returns with the money to his incredulous wife, believing he has sold his goats to the foreigner. They turn up bleating at his door, and the old woman to whom he has been married since they were both children some 60 years earlier threatens to go off to her parents.


  1. R.K Narayan is my favorite writer in India.


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