Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

"My Honey Bee" This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Autumn is arriving. I feel the cool breeze come in from my front window, gently rustling my golden curls. I look past the varicolored Beech tree and into the paddocks where the new horse paces along the fence. Instinctively, my right hand reaches down to hold the round, flat, gold-plated pendant with the initials H.B. in the center. Gazing past the weathered marks from her leather halter, I am brought back to June 25, 2010. The aroma of flesh, blood, and bile begin to overwhelm my nostrils, stinging less than the tears dropping down to my toes. The familiar vroom of the mechanical Cat digging, digging, digging, deep enough for the body of my dead horse, echoes through my ears. It becomes louder and louder as it mixes with the fast and strong beating of my heart as memories of that day flood back into my head. I mentally reenact the day my Honey Bee died. A day forever-etched into my brain.

After rewinding back to the beginning, I replay every detail as if I were reliving it for the first time, the hundredth time. The Caterpillar Backhoe was removing boulders from the pasture next to H.B., who frantically paced the four-foot fence as far away from the yellow predator as possible. She could be a high-spirited horse at times, despite her history of birthing six foals, and therefore I casually walked up to H.B.’s paddock, assuming she would calm right down. As I fumbled with the gate lock, I glanced up to check on H.B. when instead I saw her stomach as she leaped over my head. She had escaped the big yellow monster, but not without consequences.

I instinctively cowered to the side as her 1,200-pound body dove into the ground beside me with a thud. From then on, everything was a swirling, dizzying, blood red vortex spinning wildly out of control. As she struggled to get back on her feet, I could see that her stomach was no longer intact. She was a laidback, out-of-shape mare who had not cleared the now-broken fence. My curious, yet daunted eyes, were in a staring contest with the three-foot laceration that exposed foreign guts and organs, twisted and pink with a pulse. For a moment we were connected through a vibrating jolt of shock and awe as both of our bodies trembled in harmony. The intense trepidation of my hand grasping the halter opposed my willpower to stay intact with my horse, who was falling apart. In the next instant I was completely helpless as she ran from my weak grip, away from the pain, and away from her own guts chasing her through the yard.

I panicked. Screams and screeches rended the air with consternation. There seemed to be no connection between the piercing howls echoing through the woods and my widen mouth producing the sounds without my consent. I voiced random combinations of shouts and cries in attempt to improve the situation, a pitiful display of hope. Confused by what she heard, my mom suddenly rushed down the steep hill to a little girl crying hysterically, as she chased the terror-stricken horse trying to escape the contents from her abdomen which dragged in the sand and grass as she tripped over her own insides. As we watched this outrageously disturbing display I wanted so terribly to hurl up my tears. After I was handed a phone and ordered to call the vet’s office, my hands and voice shook as never-ending sobs choked my throat. The innocent, calm voice at the other end of the line was not prepared to hear me screaming through fierce tears that H.B. was running rampant around the property, as blood and bile were excreted onto the ground from her leaking intestines. That was the only thing that would process through my mind as I tried to make sense of the situation. Nothing else mattered. What was my address? My name? I had no clue, nor did I care. All I could say was, “Please! Come help my horse! She’s running around the house and her guts are spilling out. Please come help us!”

The piercing whinnies and nickers from the other horses became louder and fiercer as hooves galloped down the steep hill from behind the house and toward the paddocks. H.B. was now beside her daughter Belle, nickering her goodbyes. As I sprinted out of barn, my brother’s appearance next to H.B. stunned my tears for a split second as I observed his rigid arm extended out to her halter, where his ghostly-white grip would not let go of H.B. His petrified, distressed face was on the verge of scared tears as more blood splashed onto his bright red legs, as gallons poured from her gory flesh. I was so sure his queasy stomach would disobey him. On the other hand, H.B. was in worse shape. Legs fanned out, eyes bursting from their sockets as eight balls reading, “Outlook not so good”. Her flared nostrils were raw from breathing the pungent air, which surrounded her body. My mom instructed my brother to turn her lose. I argued, not wanting her to get away from me again, that she might run away for a second time, however she was right. It was more important that the other horses, including H.B.’s daughter, did not see her death, or else they could be as traumatized as us. My brother and I hurriedly led the other horses into the safety of the barn as their screams drowned out the sounds of our own sobs and startled thoughts.

Running back outside we found my once beautiful, powerful, high-spirited, precious “Honey Bee” collapsing with what was left of her body; the majority of her insides had been dispersed throughout the yard. We all knew, including H.B. that it would take too long to put back the pieces. She lay on her side against one of the boulders while her body fought in revolting motions of determination and willpower. Her mind fought to stay alive, despite the condition of her body. Her snorts strived to gather oxygen in order to live a little longer, for our sake, not hers. Kneeling next to H.B.’s jerking head, my mom whispered in her ear to let go. Crying my eyes out of my head I approached her neck and hugged her so fiercely, never letting go. “I love you H.B.,” were the only words I could manage to say, the only words that mattered. Within minutes I felt her body become dormant and lifeless as her pulse left her body and her bloodshot eyes became dark and glazed. She was gone. I did not stop crying or telling her I loved her like a broken record. My mother’s calm, understanding look will never leave my brain. At first I had been mad and confused, wondering why I was the only one crying for H.B. Had they seen what I just saw in the last fifteen minutes? Now, in admiration, I understand her responsibility to be composed and brave for my brother and me. She took care of everything until my dad came home.

I have come to forgive the man who caused the traumatic and gruesome death of H.B. At the time I looked up at him with pure hatred through the waterfalls rushing past my eyes. He could not bear to look at my bloodshot eyes as I interminably cried and sobbed. “I’m sorry,” were the only two words which he said in shock and awe, trying to absorb the situation like the rest of us. His pointless apologies did not matter to me. My Honey Bee was dead, and nothing in the world could ever change that. I was infuriated at the world for taking away my H.B., who was only half way through her life. I could no longer bear to look at the forever-overwhelming scene of my dead horse as she lay before me, guts and blood disguised her once remarkable body. Avoiding the trail of splattered blood and bile, I sprinted up the hill and into my room. Shock and guilt for H.B.’s death were overwhelming as I cried endlessly in the dark comfort of my closet, away from the reality of my horse’s death. Finally, I gathered the courage to look out the window at the monstrous yellow backhoe digging the grave for H.B.’s body, never to be seen again except in my memories.

Tears softly roll from my eyes, still glazed over as the replay of my horse’s death comes to an end. My heart slows its beating, so I can begin to return to my life now, to realize how much I have changed since that day. H.B.’s death was one of the most traumatic, yet life-changing moments that I have experienced. It has been two and a half years since then, and I still remember specific images from that day as if it just happened yesterday. Personally, I believe that when awful things occur in life, anyone can depart from that situation a better, smarter person. That day changed my life in a positive way. After moving to my own farm in Hopkinton, I began losing interest in horses. After H.B. died, nothing was the same at the barn without her, and for that I am glad. I drifted away from horses because the trauma of her death was unbearable around the barn. I sometimes wonder where I would be in the “horse world” if that day never happened. On the other hand, I am sure that I will never again be the little girl who asks their parents for a pony. The risk of having my heart torn open like H.B.’s body is a chance I do not want to take with another horse. I may never have realized my other interests besides riding horses, if it had not been for that experience. Now, I have expanded my horizons by trying new things such as art, photography, music, and community service. Change can be gratifying, even if it happens in the worst ways. I try to remember that every time I look down at my necklace, swaying in the breeze, just like my new dreams waiting to be conquered.



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback