The heat of midday closed around the grassy plains like an oven. And in the middle
of it was a petite mare, meandering through the weeds. It was indeed meandering, for every so often she would lower her head
and her small muzzle would run through the weeds until they reached a clump of grass and she would pluck it from its perch,
chewing it with great care as she continued on her way. (c)
She was small, with the head of a mustang and the body of an pony,
but she was indeed a purebred arab. The only clues toward her heritage were her 'tea-cup' muzzle and arched neck and tail.
She was a pretty thing, her coat a deep chocolate brown marred only by stretches of recent pink burns newly healed
over where no hair grew. Three white stockings adorned thin, muscular legs. (c)
Her mane and tail, though rather recently cared for, now show signs
of neglect: tangles and burrs decorate the pale strands. The blonde mane is long enough to touch the top of her legs and her
tail, of the same color, drapes over the ground.
A head is firmly chiseled, no matter what the breed, but with the
mustang feel to this lady's, it hints at a temper and stubborness. (c)
A broad stripe runs down its length, encompassed by large brown eyes.
But though her head turns as though she sees each bird leave from the trees and each whisper of grass movement, it is merely
habit. For these eyes are unseeing.
Perhaps by now you have realized that this one is domesticated, owned by the human
kind. 'Tis true.
Her lineage traces back generations to those of champions. (c)
But a champion, this one is not. Her stunted growth and irregular
physique made sure of such. Still, her personality left little to be desired and the humans kept her.
years passed with little problems and the happy young filly flourished, but disaster was soon to follow. The dryness of the
plains made fires common and twas only time before one struck the stable. (c)
Barns, by their very nature are airy and filled with combustible
materials so they burn easily and quickly. But there is often more than enough time to safely get the horses out.
horses tend to panic under emergency situations and this is why ever barn owners worst nightmare is a barnfire.
smoke began to fill the barn from above, even while flames licked the outer edges. (c)
The petite mare, and the rest of the horses, began to panic. In her
anxiety, the mare tried to climb out of her stall, knocking her legs against the solid wood. The smell of smoke, the screams
of her fellows horses were haunting.
Hostlers, volunteers and firefighters rushed down the aisles with water, unlatching
horse stalls as they went. But the horses would not follow. (c)
The petite mare, though her door was open, remained in her stall.
The stall was a place of safety. Surely she would be safe inside of it.
A groom ran toward the stall next to her,
covering the horses eyes with a blanket and leading him out. But no one came for her. She was no champion, no insurance was
on her. The fire grew ever closer to her stall, creeping closer. (c)
Sparks flew, catching the mares bedding on fire. Stomach heaving
and throat hoarse, the petite mare voiced her cries of panic. Then, a familiar face: the chief grooms son.
words he calmed the filly, placing a blindfold over her eyes. And trustingly, she followed him. They walked amid the chaos,
among the screaming and dying horses and the popping of the fire. (c)
The groaning of the rafters made the boy pause and look up and as
he did so a piece of burning wood dropped from the ceiling and dropped on the filly's head. Scared, she shrieked, vision blurring
and then going dark. That would be the last time she saw.
The barn had been large and its owners virtually unprotected
against fire. The losses had been devastating. (c)
They would not keep a blind mare with no worth to her. Instead of
merely selling her, the chief groom decided no one would want her and shooed her off into the plains: a blind domesticated
mare wouldn't live long, he figured. She'd be dead anyway at the slaughter house.
Perhaps he was right. The mare was
skinny, with bones protruding and her ribs visible. She would die soon, this Pheonix. (c)
It was surely only a matter of time before the fire of the sun ate