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American Literature

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Introduction

Soniat, Elizabeth Ms. Hagood American Literature 22 November 2003 Finding Courage John Quincy Adams once said, "Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air." At the age of eleven I was riding horses without a fear in the world. Twice a week since I was five I had been riding, so naturally I thought it was easy and there was nothing to it. However, one day my instructor informed me that I would be learning to jump that day. My heart probably skipped a beat with both fear and excitement. It was nothing but a small pole, hardly six inches off the ground; nevertheless, my heart pounded. ...read more.

Middle

However, now there was a new challenge; it was raining and wet in the arena and I was attempting a higher jump than before. As I took the turn before the jump, I hardly felt anything going wrong. Suddenly I was in the mud along with the horse I was riding. His legs had slipped out from under him as we went around the muddy turn. He hastily got up with me intact and very stunned. He stood there, probably as unsettled as I was, trembling. My instructor ran over and comforted me, however, minutes later she had me trying it again. I was still shaking with fear and was definitely not feeling any of that magic courage. ...read more.

Conclusion

Slamming into the sides, I landed on my rear with my horse looking at me inquisitively. This being maybe the hundredth time I fell off, I laughed at the colt and got back up to do it again. This time I succeeded in not going over the jump alone. So the dictionary may define courage as: "The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery". But I have found that courage means that and more. Maybe it even includes some magic as John Quincy Adams said so many years ago, "Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air". 1 ...read more.

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