Fend for Yourself - Part 1
It was mid-afternoon, and the sun beat down on a small stable that was tucked away at the edge of the forest. The tall pine trees surrounding the tiny stable, cast long shadows over it. Small shafts of sun danced between the branches of the pines. All was silent except the occasional call of a bird.
The stable was old, and chipped, and the fence of the paddock surrounding it was missing a few boards. The stable appeared to be vacant, and abandoned, but that was not the case.
Tucked away inside a stall, were 2 horses, a mare and her foal. The mare took excellent care of the fragile foal, keeping a close eye on it.
Lifting her magnificent head, the mare looked around with alert, tired eyes, as the foal slept soundly, curled up in the fresh straw the mare had carried in from a nearby farm.
She flicked her tail, scrambling to her hooves, determined to fill her hunger by grazing on what was left of the grass in the paddock.
Quietly, and ever so carefully as to not wake the foal, she trotted through the open stall gate, and out the stable door, keeping alert for signs of danger.
She trotted to a tuft of grass, and bowed her head down, pulling the tender strands out of the dried soil; quickly eating them.
The sudden, distant roar of an automobile sent her fleeing into the stable at a full gallop, to make sure her foal was safe.
With ears pinned back, and eyes wide with alarm, she briskly trotted into the stall, hovering over her foal to assure herself of its safety.
This was what repeated over and over daily; it was like the daily routine.
The poor, tired mare had a dusty, dull coat, that used to show off a magnificent, glossy, bay color, that shined as the sunlight hit it. But spending months alone in the stable, caring for her foal, had dulled her coat, and taken the light out of her eyes.
The foal, on the other hand, was well cared for by its protective mother, and it boasted a lovely red chestnut color, and a red streaked mane.
The mare and foal had been taking refuge in this stable, ever since their owner abandoned them, leaving them to die in an empty stable with no access of the grassy paddock.
The mare, being an excellent mother, led her foal away to a safer place; the abandoned stable, where she fed the foal and took great care of it.