Extract from Sir Roger Scruton’s ‘On Hunting’

By now I had led Dumbo to one side and was edging down the road towards the turning which would take us home. Suddenly the Huntsman’s horn stuttered out its excited semiquavers. The hounds, which had been drifting round the trotting horse like gulls around a fishing boat, instantly form a line, running one behind the other towards the copse, each hound breaking into song as it jumped the low stone wall that crossed the valley. There was a commotion behind me. I turned to see the Master swing his horse towards the rails that border the road on this side of the valley and then rush at them with a scraping of hooves. The other riders followed, some 40 or more, each horse fired with enthusiasm pulling its rider into the jump and following the herd in its downhill stampede towards the river, into which they plunged like the Gararene swine. Dumbo was rearing in my hand, and I was tempted to let him go. But soon the hunt had waded the shallow stream, and galloped off behind the copse  and was lost to view. Dumbo allowed me to mount him for the journey home, setting off at once in an excited trot, ears pricked, eyes searching the horizon to every side, hoping for a miraculous vision to be granted again. Only when the familiar houses of his village lined the road, did he returned to his plodding gait. And I noted that he was drooping and covered in sweat.  Thus it was that I resolved to take up hunting during this, the best part of my life.