This short story was written by a dear friend of ours, Debbie McClung. Debbie was called home to be with our Lord and Savior this morning after suffering a long illness. Debbie was a serious horse woman who had a deep and abiding faith in the love and intentional will of God. With her permission, I originally published this story last spring. She dedicated it to the Creator of all Living Things.
Debbie, we love you.
February 12, 2011 — It was early summer. The meadow was still lush with green Bermuda and the tasty native grasses of Texas. The herd took turns between grazing and napping, always keeping a “look out” mare for safety. The colts played at their mother’s sides, or challenged each other with their baby version of “who’s fastest and toughest”.
This particular colt, a little older than the rest of the year’s crop, was full of confidence and of himself. He skipped, hopped and leaped chasing butterflies, rabbits and his tail. Sniffing the ground, he absorbed all that his senses would allow, taking time to discover if there really were bones of hapless horses that may have gotten too close, in that “horse eating” black hole. But after a time he began to feel a dim discomfort, a nagging concern. He stopped his play in order to sort out what his inner voice was trying to tell him and realized that he was all alone! No protective herd in sight, smell or sound! His once-felt confidence fell from his body as broken shards of a mirror. In his fear, he did the only thing he knew to do. He cried out a choked quivering whinny. Listening for a reply, he heard none. He turned and repeated his cry. He waited, looking in the distance, straining his little body forward, an explosive package of both stillness and motion. He stopped breathing so the sound did not interfere with his ability to focus. Then he saw it. He saw just the tips of a pair of pricked ears moving slowly towards him.
As the ears approached they revealed below them a white blaze painted onto a beautiful sorrel colored face. Then nostrils, gently and calmly flaring as they sniffed the air. She reached the top of a rise fully displaying her familiar body and scent. She remained at the top, swishing her tail back and forth to flick the never relenting bugs, ducking down to grab a few more tasty tidbits as if to say, all is well. I was just on the other side of the rise where you could not see me, but I always knew where you were. The colt picked up the pieces of the confidence he’d dropped on the ground and began to put them back in place. The pieces were a little askew, but would mend as time went on. Then, tail pointed straight towards the sky, neck upright, head and chin tucked up (just enough to make him look grown up), he pranced, and trotted back to his mother.