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Through the Eyes of the Horse and the Owner
I opened my eyes for the first time and exclaimed, “I’m a horse! Or a filly, really. I am black with white spots on my rear and have a pretty star on my head!” My mother kissed me and cleaned me up. I looked around to find myself under a blanket of clouds and low branches. I was cold and wanted to be nearer my mother. I tried to stand upon my skinny, fragile legs, but it was too hard. My mother encouraged me by nudging me to help me up. I got up! But uh oh … I’m slipping back down. My front legs stretched up front and my back legs behind, and it really hurt. It was like doing a giant split. I rolled over and tried again. By the time I took my first step, it was daybreak.
Ten days passed and my mother started walking away from me. Where was she going? I called after her. She nickered for me to follow close by. She called out into the forest and I heard an echo through the trees. She started to walk faster and then broke into a canter. “Come on!” she said. I galloped to catch up, still wondering where we were going but then I saw why we left. There were a bunch of other horses in the forest—big, dark-colored stallions, many mares with their colts and fillies, and then my mother and me.
All the other baby horses were bigger and older than I was. Who am I supposed to play with? My mother was just grazing nearby, she looked so tired. I laid down next to my mom, my eyes drooping. I could see all small things: the little butterflies, the dew on the grass, the other horses rolling in the muddy pond nearby.
I woke up after an hour, looking for my mother, who nudged me. We were walking again. But where? We walked, for what I thought were ages, but now I saw what the walking was for. Snow! Even in late spring there was preserved snow.
Overhead I heard a helicopter. The herd of horses looked up and then they started to run including my mother! I whinnied after her, but she didn’t reply. I galloped after her. The helicopter got closer and ran us around like some toy. Eventually, it got the herd to the bottom end of the mountain. All that time and effort walking up were wasted. A Judas horse ran toward a fenced gate and the stallions first followed, then the mares and the foals. My hooves were sore but I didn’t want to lose my mum. We got into the gates and people closed the gates behind us. We were trapped. Soon enough we were being separated by gender. Mares and their foals in one pen, and stallions in the others. It hurt to walk. A person in a cowboy hat came with a long rope and wrapped it around my neck.
My mother came over and protested against the person taking me away, but the person didn’t stop. He pulled me out of the pen and then shoved me into a small, metal, rectangular pen. My mother and I called for each other but she and I were still separated.
The man said to me calmly, “It’s okay. You’ll be with your mum soon. We just need to make sure you are fine to go.”
He picked up my feet and put these funny looking booties on me. Both my mum and I got turned back out.
One by one, more and more people started gathering in the stands in front of us. And one by one, our pack was being auctioned off. Soon enough, everyone in the herd was being trailered and driven away. My mother called after them and they cried back. We were the only ones left from our herd.
After the day was over the people were starting to leave. Three days later, they came back and my booties were off and I could walk normally again. A man who was talking way too fast was pointing at us. What was happening? I wondered. People raised a white sheet of paper that had big bold numbers on it. I was looking at the stands as people kept raising their numbers until finally one last person raised his number and no one else did. The man who was speaking, shouted into the microphone, “SOLD! To number 231!”
I looked to where he was pointing and a family of three was sitting there smiling. They had a daughter who looked about 12 years of age and was grinning ear to ear. I knew my mother and I were sold to the family. After the auction, a tall man led my mother out of the pen and I followed close by but was watching the man cautiously. Soon after, I saw the family of three standing by two trailers (one already full with other horses). They thanked the man and led my mum up the ramp into the trailer and tied her up. Then they put a soft rope around me and did the same thing.
I heard a truck engine start up and the trailer was shaking a bit. Then it lurched and I was frantically stepping around for a more secure footing. My mum was kicking her right front hoof against the trailer wall but stopped after a while, noticing that it was no use. I was feeling a little drowsy so I fell asleep during the ride to wherever we were going.
I felt a sudden stop and woke up startled. I heard the truck door open and footsteps running toward the trailer.
“Mommy! Daddy! Come here so we can unload the horses!” A sweet voice shouted out.
I saw a pair of dark brown eyes looking through the window in the trailer. A minute later, I heard people come over and open the trailer door. I saw a tall man, his wife, and their daughter. The girl started to walk into the trailer but her dad stopped her.
“Careful. These are wild horses. They can be terribly dangerous,” her dad warned.
“Oh. Never mind then, you can grab the horses then,” the girl replied with a little disappointment in her voice.
Her mom and dad walked into the trailer and led my mother and me out of the trailer. Outside was so nice.
There was a slight, cool breeze that was so nice after the long trip. The location is on 100+ acres of land. The people’s house sat in the middle of everything. It is a fairly large, white house with colorful gardens all around. There is also a giant outdoor arena and a barn that has approximately 25 stalls with a riding arena and round pen. Outside, there were five pastures that I could see and then behind them there was a giant pasture where their other wild horses were. So far, I am happy.
I snapped out of my trance as the girl took my rope and started leading me in a paddock near her house.
“Emily! When you’re done turning your foal out, get some hay and put it into their feed!” Her mom called out.
“Okay mommy! Wait. My foal? You mean the foal is mine?!” Emily questioned with excitement.
“Yup! Your early Christmas or belated birthday present.” Her mom walked toward her. Emily hugged me, then took the rope off and ran toward her mom and hugged her.
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you so much!” Emily cried.
Her mom laughed and returned the hug. “Just do your responsibilities and your chores around the barn.”
“Anything!” Emily smiled.
I watched them go back into the house and then trotted to my mother. She nickered at me and I neighed back. She looked comfortable, as if this already had happened to her. But I guessed it just felt like home.
After a while, the sun started to set and I was getting drowsy so I stood close to my mother and fell asleep.
When I finally woke up, it was sunrise. Emily came out of the barn and smiled to see I was awake. She walked up to the paddock gate and reached her hand out to me. I came near her with my mom watching the girl carefully. She pet me on the head.
“What should I name you?” She asked, apparently to me. “Bessie? No. Zip this Cookie? Ha-ha, no. Huckleberry?”
I shook my head.
“Yeah I guess you’re right. How about ....” She broke off thinking of a perfect name. “I got it! Miracle Midnight Masquerade as your show name because it is a miracle that I have you, midnight because you’re black, and masquerade because I like it. And Mia for short, at home.”
I loved the names! I felt that it fit me. I neighed in agreement.
“He he! You’re so funny! Now help me pick a name for your mother.”
At the end of all the guessing, we finally named my mother Pacific Splash but Splash for short. Because my mother is an appaloosa horse, she looked like she was splashed with black and white paint.
“Well, see you later! I have to do my chores! Bye!” She jumped off the fence and walked back to the barn. She turned back and waved to me, then kept walking.
Emily’s point of view:
I have loved horses ever since I was born. I learned to ride before I could walk. My first horse, or really he was a pony, was a little Shetland pony named Sonny. He is still here in the barn but he is retired because he is 27 years old. My second horse was a pinto pony named Penelope, who is a lesson horse, and my third horse was a real horse. His name is Moose and he is a chestnut gelding with a strip down his head and he is 16 hands and 16 years old. But I have always wanted my own foal. I mean I’ve seen them and worked with them but never actually had my own. And now Mia is actually mine.
Every year my family and I go to an auction of wild horses to save them from slaughterhouse people or dealers. We buy at least a trailer load and then we let them out into a giant pasture we have so they can be wild, almost. We leave them alone but get them to trust us first.
I have long, dark chocolate-colored hair and usually have it up in something and rarely wear it down. I’m almost 5 feet tall and I love to draw, especially horses. I draw other people’s horses or horses I have seen or riden. My favorite color is lime green because it is bright but it also shows nature and has a touch of elegance. I’ve always been a straight ‘A’ student and taught myself to play the guitar. But all these facts about me are random.
I go to a school called Arrowhead Middle School in Montana. My best friends, Haley and Kristen, go to my school and ride with me. They are like the sisters I never had. We all have known each other since we were three years old and met at daycare.
Usually Haley stays with us most of the year because her parents travel a lot so we take her in, but for two weeks she is in Australia for summer vacation, but she is coming back soon. Haley also owns a palomino gelding named Tucker. Mattie is also gone on summer vacation to Italy but is coming back tomorrow. Mattie is technically my neighbor. If you go down our road to get to our house and look to your left, her house is right there. Mattie owns a grey Arabian mare, Silver. We usually go to my place to hang out and stuff because my place is the most fun.
I grabbed my tack and started to clean them. As I was cleaning the tack, I was imagining being able to train Mia and possibly ride her. That would be a dream. I shook my head to keep those thoughts out because, usually when I dream of something it never happens.
I checked on all the horses in the barn. Most of them were saved from the slaughter house. But the others were school horses for the lesson riders or boarder horses for the boarders. The horses outside were wild horses from auctions in the past. We trained most of them to be comfortable around people.
I hurried through my chores and then went inside my house to eat lunch.
“Hi mommy! Could you make me lunch?” I asked.
“Yeah, sure. So have you been with your foal yet? Also what are you going to call her?” My mom questioned.
“Oh yeah. I forgot. I named my foal Miracle Midnight Masquerade but Mia for short. And her mom is Pacific Splash, but Splash to shorten her name. Sorry, I kind of already chose the name for Mia’s mom even though she’s not mine,” I answered.
“No, no, no. I like it. Suits them great,” she replied with a smile.
I was happy my mom liked the names. After I ate the sandwich that my mother fixed up, I went back to Mia’s paddock. But before I went there, I stopped at the barn to pick up feed for them and I grabbed a couple of carrots and horse cookies.
Mia’s point of view:
I saw Emily walk toward us with some food. My ears perked up and my head was raised high. Were some of the treats for me? She came through the gate and I followed her but kept my distance. She put the hay in the feed bucket and my mom started for the bucket, but stopped when Emily turned back around. She held her hands out with a carrot in one and a cookie in the other. I went forward but I stopped when my mother whinnied at me to be careful and to let her go first. She took a step forward and Emily just stood there looking at us lovingly. She dropped the carrot in the middle of my mother and herself. My mother came and sniffed the carrot then chewed it up. She looked back up for more. Emily took another carrot from her back pocket but this time dropped it right next to her foot. My mother stood there hoping she would drop one nearer to her. But Emily just stood there staring back with nice eyes and a small smile that was barely visible on her face. I could’ve sworn they stood like that for days. Finally my mother gave up and walked forward, dropped her head then ate the carrot.
I heard a sigh of joy and realized it was Emily. She looked relieved that my mother had finally come close, but she sighed again realizing that she still hadn’t gained my mother’s full trust and that it would be a long road ahead to get there. She reached for another carrot and put it in her hand. My mother cocked her head but reached out and gobbled it down. Emily smiled noticing what had just happened. Emily reached her hand out and petted my mother’s face. I looked at them with curiosity because I never thought my mother would allow a human to get that near her, let alone pet her.
I neighed to make sure they knew I was still there, and Emily looked at me and laughed, “Mia, you’re such a funny horse. You just want some attention don’t you?” She stroked my neck and my ears pricked forward. She broke a cookie in half and I nuzzled my head against her. She laughed again and gave me the cookie. I must admit, it tasted delicious!
I ate three cookies and begged for more, but Emily just ruffled my growing mane. She climbed up onto the wooden fence and sat on the top. I looked at her and she started talking to me about her life. I listened intently as she spoke about her life. She talked about her school life, home life, horse life, and goals in her near future.
After a long talk, she jumped off the fence and gave me a fright.
“Sorry Mia. I didn’t mean to frighten you,” she apologized.
She walked over to the gate and waved to my mother and me. I watched her until the house door closed behind her. Then I went back to my mother and began to sleep again.
Emily’s point of view:
I just left Mia. I really do love her. She always listens to me and actually seems to pay more attention than when talk to my parents. I thought that is really sad.
I checked my phone and had 10 messages! Five were from Mattie saying she is missing me and can’t wait to get back. She also said she got souvenirs for Haley and me and that she will be coming back at 10 a.m. tomorrow, and she’ll come over at noon. Another message was from Haley. She texted me a super long text. It said,
Hey Em! What’s up? Well I have to say me! I’m on my way back from Australia! Surprise! (Sort of) Well anyways, I’ll be back on Wednesday or tomorrow for you. Be back around noon but I’ll come over to your house (I miss Rolling Stones Stables) at around 3:00pm. I heard Mattie is also coming back, but earlier than me, mate! (I think Australian people are really rubbing off on me.) Lucky you! Mattie and me, coming back on the same day! OMG! So I got you and Mattie awesome presents! I think you’ll love it! I got to swim with dolphins and snorkeled with tropical, exotic fishes! It was so cool! Also I went to the Sydney Opera House. Not that much fun. But it was HUGE! You should’ve come with me! Even though you probably couldn’t but it would’ve been so much better. Well, see you tomorrow! Love ya! (Like a sister)
(P.S. Send love and kisses to Tucker and all the other horses! Byes!)
Okay so it wasn’t so long, but it was pretty long to me. I checked my other texts and they were from my other friends saying where they are and stuff. I opened my purple laptop and checked my e-mail and I got an e-mail from my other friend, Katie. It was a picture of her screen that read ‘Love Calculator.’ Yeah, she’s boy crazy. I sent her my reply saying, “Cool! But you’re crazy! ;),” and then I logged out and closed my laptop. I walked toward my window and looked out to find Mia sleeping by Splash, who was munching on the fresh green grass.
Mia’s point of view:
I woke up to find it completely dark except for lights around the house and the barn. That instance, I hated the dark. I went to find my mom and she was in the shed. I squeezed in and fell asleep feeling safe.
It was morning, late morning too. I couldn’t believe how many hours I had slept. I guessed it was around 11:00 a.m. I saw Emily walk out of the barn (still in her pajamas) and grab two hay bales and then go back into the barn. I walked out of the shed and realized how hungry I was. So I ate my “breakfast.” Afterward I felt hyper and wanted to be played with. So I went to my mother and whinnied to play with me. She just kept eating her grass. Is that how I’m going to be when I grow old? Not saying my mother is old, just that she is a lot older compared to me. I reared to get her to play with me but it didn’t convince her. I saw Emily rush out of the barn and she ran into her house. I wondered why. But I still wanted to play, so I kept trying to persuade my mother.
Emily’s point of view:
“I’ve got to get ready!” I said to myself.
I pulled on some jeans and a t-shirt and braided my hair into a neat, long, single braid. I went to the bathroom to splash myself with water to make myself look alive. I rushed down the stairs and jammed my boots on then ran outside to see Mattie riding her bike with two giant bags hanging on both handle bars.
“Em!” she called out.
“Mattie, you are finally back home!” I replied as she stopped her bike right next to me.
“I think I’d notice that.” Mattie said sarcastically but gave me a giant hug.
I laughed and returned the hug. “Oh! I forgot! I got a foal! A wild foal with her mother. I named her Mia. She’s over there!” I pointed toward Mia’s paddock.
“Aw! She is adorable! Are you going to train her yourself? To ride, I mean.”
“I’m going to try at first with help from Haley and you. And if that doesn’t go as well as I think it will, I’ll get help from my parents and/or from a professional trainer. So what did you get me?” I was standing on my tiptoes to try to earn a peek inside the bag.
“No, I won’t let you see, let alone give you it just yet. I’ll give it to you when Haley is back. Can we go to the barn? I missed Silver.”
“Yeah, sure. We could go for a ride after we feed all the horses and we could also get Tucker to tag along. That way when Haley comes back we can all go on a long trail ride and talk about your guy’s vacations.”
“Sure. Wait we? Do I have to? I mean I just came back from a relaxing vacation,” she whined.
I rolled my eyes. I wasn’t going to let her let me do all the work. “Ha-ha, no. You’re helping me no matter what.” I shrugged with a smirk and walked toward the barn.