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The Fantastic Mr. B This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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When we brought you home, my heart leapt out of my chest.
You were so young and handsome, a gorgeous dapple grey.
And you were all my own.
Together we would be champions.

When you lashed out that cold March day, I was quick to defend you.
You weren't feeling well, you didn't mean to snap.
She shouldn't have touched you. Not to worry darling, I still loved you.

It wasn't long before I became your victim,
a bruise on the shoulder,
the hip,
the back,
the arm.
We'd work through it.

The blame shifted from your withers to my shoulders.
I wanted so badly to please you, but my meager gestures weren't enough.
You quivered with anger at my touch.
You wanted nothing to do with me.
I didn't take the hint.

They told me you were getting dangerous.
It was us against the world, and I was determined to win that battle.

That day you were distracted by some far- off danger.
I assured you that I'd stand between you and that monster.
And yet, there was no reasoning with a spooked horse.

Panicked, you galloped down the hill, my hands still on your reins,
my helmet slapping the pavement.
I released my grip and turned to watch you head straight for the road.
I screamed as loud as I could.
I ran, desperate to stop you, oblivious to my gushing elbows.

When I reached that circle of people I nearly died.
A car, was parked in the middle of the crowd.
I was sure you'd been hit.
Why did I let go? Why wasn't I faster?

You'd run into traffic twice, but you had been spared.
I was so grateful.
Little did I know, you didn't want my help or my love.
You might have been running from some hidden danger that day, but you were running from me too.

I learned to track your movements, to anticipate the strikes.
Whether it was my arms, my shoulder, my back, or my stomach, you always managed to hit your mark.
I blamed myself.
I would do anything for you.

When you lunged at me that night, I was defenseless.
Your teeth sank into my arm, through my winter coat, through layers of clothing.
I was blinded by a mixture of rage and pain.
You needed to learn that I was the alpha in this human-equine herd.

In the shallow light of the bathroom it didn't seem so bad.
The faces of my peers betrayed otherwise.
Over a year of hard work, hopes and dreams had been shattered with one passionate bite.

When I came to see you off a month later, determined to say a proper goodbye,
you raised your head, pinned your ears back and looked at me with disdain.
You left the following morning.

They say love conquers all, but whoever said that had never met you my friend.
I dedicated all I had to winning your trust, your love, your respect,
and it didn't matter in the end.
You left scar tissue in my arm and a jagged tear in my heart.

I wish you the best.



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