I will save them all
I watched outside as water poured down from the sky, the only thing I could think about was what they were going to do with that horse at the barn I rode at. The owners of that beautiful paint gelding had dropped him off without ever looking back, they had stopped paying board a few weeks ago and I had heard the barn manager Lisa on the phone with a man saying he was going to be picked up soon. Picked up for what? I wondered.
RRIINNNNNGGGGGGG. I looked over at my desk where a picture of Nora was flashing on my cell phone screen. She was grooming her old horse Sparky In the photo, I still remember that day she lost him. Flashbacks appear as I think back to that dreadful day, I was at the local auction with my aunt looking for a companion horse for her brand new filly when Nora had called me.
“Hey! What’s up! Can I call yo…” “Sarah! My dad sold Sparky! He’s on his way to the auction right now! They just got back from the Caribbean and they said he was getting to old for me! He’s only 12 years old!” She was sobbing uncontrollably. She didn’t know that I was already there with my Aunt, I was just about to tell her when I saw a strong black horse enter the circle. He had a white stocking on the back of his right leg... just like Sparky.
I quickly hung up the phone and grabbed my Aunt by the arm. “We have to bid on him!” She turned around to grab her paddle when the words SOLD rung in my ears! I froze as I watched a kill buyer take Sparky away to his death. To this day Nora doesn’t know what happened to Sparky... and she never will.
I jumped back into reality and quickly answered my phone. “Hello?” “Sarah! They are taking the horse now, you have to come to the barn quickly!” I ran out the door like lightning and grabbed my boots. Oh great. I thought, my older brother decided to “borrow” my truck. Now how am I going to get there? I heard a soft whinny and looked over to where my old pony Sugar was standing in her paddock.
My parents had bought her for me when I was eight years to teach me how to ride on her. My dad had rescued her from an abusive family and took her here, where he taught me how to care for her properly. There’s no way I’m taking her, she’s too old! It wouldn’t be safe. Although it could save that horse's life. I looked into Sugar's eyes and I could feel her telling me to saddle her up.
So I ran into the tack room that was now infested with spider webs because it had been so long since anyone had been there. None of the old saddles fit me anymore so I just grabbed a bridal and rode her bareback. The stables weren’t too far from where I lived so it wasn’t too much of a hassle for Sugar to take me there.
Once we arrived I saw Nora running down the path towards me. She was pointing to the stables. She was still too far for me to hear I couldn’t make out what she was saying. Just then as if Sugar knew what was happening, she bolted down the path and galloped over to the stable dodging rocks and oceans of water. “Sugar!” I yelled. Then I looked up and saw Lisa glaring at me holding the paint gelding in her hands. He looked terrible, like he hadn’t eaten in a month which was probably true. “Sarah what in God’s name are you doing here?!?” Nora ran up behind me out of breath. “This is wrong!” I said. A man with a long black beard came from the other side of the cattle trailer. “Go home girls!” I looked straight at him as if I was daring him to touch me. Nora stepped forward to defend me. “Lisa stop this! It’s not the horse's fault you stopped getting your checks!”
She was silent as she started to load him in the trailer. I jumped in front of her to block her. “Sarah!?!” “You can’t put a horse in a cattle trailer they will hit their heads or break something!” “I don’t care!!!” I could see the anger in her eyes as she spoke this. Everyone was quiet as we waited for the next thing. “This man paid me 300 dollars for this mutt and that’s a whole lot more then I would have gotten from anyone else! So unless you have 400 dollars on you he’s going in this trailer!” She started to go again when I thought of Sparky at the auction. The words sold still ringed in my ears. I couldn’t save him but I could save this horse. “Okay, can I write you a check? That is all you have wanted right?” She stopped and looked at me startled.
“You would buy a stupid horse just so it could have a nice field to stand in?” I nodded. She looked at the kill buyer and then back at me. “Fine I’m leaving!” He yelled as if he already knew what was going to happen. I smiled and looked back at Lisa. “Alright then girl where is your check book?”
Nora and I pulled into my driveway with her two horses, horse trailer. My mother was outside by Sugar's pen with a confused face. “Uh Oh.” I said. She looked over to us and frowned. Nora pulled up and rolled her window down. “Hey Connie! You will never believe what your daughter did today!” “By the looks of it she took our Sugar out for a much needed ride and brought back another horse.” I pushed past Nora to look at my mom. “I had to do something! They were going to send him to slaughter!” She gave me an apologetic look. “Just like your father, always rescuing those horses.”
I could see a tear run down her face. My father had passed away about five years ago trying to rescue a horse trapped in an electric fence. It wasn’t on when he had gotten there but only minutes later the timed limit was up and there was nothing anyone could do. The horse and my father both died that day. She wiped it away looked straight at me. “I should have known you would've started where he left off, I have been waiting for this day, unload the horse and bring him in the barn.” I grinned and jumped out of the truck. Nora and I brought him out and into the barn.
“So what are you going to name him?” “I don’t know... how about Lucky.” “Lucky? I like it!” She grabbed the brush box and we started grooming. We were out there for hours until my mom told us it was time to go inside. “Nora you can stay here if it’s alright with your folks.” “Thank you Connie.” What my mother didn’t know was Nora's parents were never home. They were always off in some faraway place having a blast. I turned out the lights and wished Lucky a good night sleep. Training would start tomorrow.
I walked into my bedroom to see Nora lying on the floor in a pile of blankets. “Do you think you can help him?” She asked. I thought about the question for a bit, can I? Honestly I don’t know. “Yes.” I said. “I will save them all.”