The nature of the beast is the take-off point for an orthodox anthology featuring horseflesh of all sorts and conditions. There is the stubborn pony who will not forget his dead mistress in a Mazo de la Roche story, an unvanquished ornc of anonymous poetry recollection, the handicapped colt that goes the way of useless horseflesh in a tough story by Wallace Stegner. Further facets are explored in stories by Steinbeck, whose The Red Pony is again present in collection form, and Mary O'Hara's piece about Flicka, Kipling represented by The Maltese at, Bret Hart, Fred Gipson, H. E. Bates, Walter van Tilburg Clark, Herbert Ravenal ass There is a long piece by Tolstoi writing from the horse's mouth about a horse's life. Interspersed poems by Christina Rossetti, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and others including a final fillip of brief verses add to the generous prose offering. Par for a crowded but popular course.