A Christmas Story

by Izzy
(USA)

Vanish's last day in the pasture

Vanish's last day in the pasture

"Ma'm... can we speak to you in here?" The lady with the tight blond bun nodded.

"Stay here." She turned to the thirteen year old and said in her English accent. The girl nodded and sat back. She waited for an hour, while her mom and the vet talked about her horse, Vanish. She had waited for too long. She crept up to the door and pressed her ear against it.

"...May need to be put down... critical." She herd the vet say.

"Understandable... too sick to manage... Mmmmhhhmmm... Yeah... OK." Her mother said as she headed toward the door. Her heels clicked against the tile as she walked toward the barn part of the clinic. The girl had been lying in Vanish's stall when the got there. The horse was lying on his side, breathing heavily.

"Um, sweetie, the vet has something to say." The velvety voice of her mother cooed as she picked up her daughter in her arms.

"Well, unfortunately... The um, cancer has spread to the stallion's lungs. He may die within the next day..." Her voice trailed off as she read the charts. The vet looked up at the mother and daughter.

"It's all right... We'll get you another one honey." She cooed as her daughter wept in her arms.

"I don't want another one..." The girl stated, "Mum, I would like to stay with Vanish... Just to stay goodbye."

"Is that OK?" The mom asked the vet.

"If she wants..." The vet scratched her head. Suddenly, making them all jump, and ambulance whirled into the grounds.

"OUTTA THE WAY! OUTTA THE WAY!" The ER doctors yelled as they wheeled a pregnant mare into the OR. The mare was bleeding severely in 'that area'. She was breathing heavily, and making soft and low whinnies.

"I gotta go!" The vet yelled. "What's wrong?!" She yelled as she ran away, hugging the charts to her chest.

"Mum, will you stay with me?" The girl looked up at her mom with watery eyes.

"Yes." Her mom crouched down next to the stallion. "I remember when he was a foal. He was born on the same day as you, you know." She looked down at her daughter.

"Really?" She asked.

"Yeah, and he was so fat!" The mother laughed, "He loved jellybeans too. I put you on his back when you too were a year old. He nickered and playfully nipped at my hand. I told him no, but laughed any way..." Her voice trailed off because they didn't feel the rise and fall of the stallion's chest.

"Mum..." The girl started, but instantly broke down. Her mother cried too. They wrapped each other in their arms, and thought of good memories of the stallion. They cried as they lowered the stallion into the hole in his pasture. They cried as they put up endless pictures of the girl and Vanish.

They balled as they put up one last picture: The picture of the girl laughing as her mom and Vanish stuck out their tongues at each other. The happiest of families can never be broken, not even by death...

***********************

To the reader,
This story is true. Well, the message and the death of the horse. But I made up the girl, her mom, and the vet. What really happened was much sadder... The horse, my own horse, was named Vanish and he died because he broke his leg, and couldn't walk. So he had to be put down. And on Christmas too. R.I.P Vanish... We miss and love you!

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