Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal is available in Paperback and eBook and soon in audio.
The heat came in waves one morning like nothing I had ever experienced before. Dolores came in and put our halters on us. Her excitement made me nervous. Then as she led us out of the barn, I saw it right in front of us. Waiting like an ogre, its doors open as if to swallow us, stood one of those nasty trailers. Although I could see there was hay on the floor for us to eat, it still stunk of fear, gasoline, and oil.
“This is a terrible sign, Lucky.” I said. “It’s an extremely distressing sign. Where are we going? Why do they have to make us leave our home? I don’t feel ready for more changes, do you?” He was used to my constant worry and questions, so I got no answer. “Please, don’t make us leave, we’re just beginning to feel a little safe,” I begged as I planted my hooves in front of the ramp. It was no use. They were bigger than me, and up the ramp I went.
Inside the trailer, it was even hotter. All told there were five of us—three horses, Lucky, and me—crammed into this sweat box. We were all nervous. All of us were brought to the stable by these same women a couple of months earlier. Each of us had begun to feel a measure of security in our surroundings after the trauma of losing our families. Unsure and troubled again, we waited for the fabric of our lives to be ripped apart once more.
The women had treated us kindly and genuinely seemed to care for us. They didn’t know my belly was always hungry. Nor did they understand that we had a crawly feeling inside of us. It was probably some of those bad bugs my mother warned me about.
They were kind women. They didn’t know that the corrupt woman who owned the stable couldn’t be bothered with us. When she came around to look us over, we could tell she was ruthless. To her it didn’t matter if we survived and grew up strong. I didn’t think the nice women knew she was evil or that we had these crawly things inside of us. They tried their best to treat us kindly with love and to teach us how to be adoptable. They just didn’t know enough about horses, and they listened to the bad woman instead of trying to learn to speak horse.
Fortunately, the trip was short. Outside the trailer, it was extremely loud. There were the sounds of other horses, farm animals, music, and all sorts of other strange noises. Some of them were so deafening they made us all jumpy. The smell of grass, machinery, and humans permeated the air. We could hardly hear the sound of our own breathing over the calls of one human to another, the banging of hammers, and metal against metal. Standing and waiting in the sweltering heat of the trailer, we could barely breathe in the stifling air.
“The women are putting up portable fencing and a tent,” one of the bigger horses who could see through the window told us. “The tent is probably so they can be out of the sun during the day.”
At last we were led off the trailer one by one. Sweat dripping from us, Lucky and I were the last to leave the trailer. They led the two of us into an extremely small enclosure standing next to the tent.
At first we enjoyed looking around at all the different things going on. The thrill soon passed, as there was no escape from the sun. Humans continued to stream by viewing, poking, and prodding us in the enclosure. Some of the little children were horrid. “Cute horsey,” or “Cute pony, Mama,” they said as they poked us again and again while their parents laughed. It was the hottest day I could ever remember. From just after dawn till sunset, we stood in that pen. I began to wonder if we were to spend our lives in this small space without room for either of us to lie down, move around, or get out of the sun.
Where would Lucky and I go if it rained? Still, we wished for rain to cool us down. We felt trapped and wondered how we could have a nap. The space was too little and the noise and constant parade of strange humans too great.
“Lucky, what’s happened to the nice women? Why did they do this to us? Do you think we’ll be adopted?”
He didn’t answer me. He was afraid. Both of us were miserable. We didn’t know what would happen. Maybe, if we were truly blessed, we would meet our forever families here at the fair. Was it possible? We wondered.
Dinky's Quest is available in Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, and in Audio for ages 3 to 8.