What Is “A Secret for Two” by Quentin Reynolds About?
“A Secret for Two” tells the story of Pierre, a milkman who kept the same route for 30 years, and his faithful horse, Joseph. When Jacques, Pierre’s foreman, finds Joseph dead, a grief-stricken Pierre walks directly into traffic and dies. It is then revealed that Pierre is blind and has been for many years. The title refers to the closeness between Joseph and Pierre that hid this secret.
Pierre and Joseph are immediately introduced as being extremely close, with an excellent reputation among the people along their route. Pierre is somewhat unusual because he verbally reports the bills to Jacques and also likes to boast that Joseph knows their routine so perfectly he hardly needs to work, foreshadowing the ending. The two work in perfect harmony and Jacques observes that they seem to share a secret that binds them together, noting that Joseph is especially attentive to any verbal instruction that Pierre gives or other noises. The man and horse are both stated to draw strength and energy from the other; separated, both Pierre and Joseph tire more easily and rapidly. Without Joseph, Pierre cannot continue to work, nor does he have any desire to. The short story is an ode to love and friendship between man and animal.