The Wild Mare

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
May/June 2000

By Emily Villano, Illustrated by Lina Kavaliunas

For the men the day had started a few hours before. The men worked for hours. Instead of a few hours to the men it felt like years. When the men came home the women’s day started. They cooked and cleaned for hours. To the women the hours felt like years. When the people lay down on their fluffy beds to sleep the animals’ day began. They hunted, nursed, and dodged their enemy. They did this for hours. To the animals it felt like years. The hours were years to the people and animals.

Everyone wanted a horse to ride. They were slick and much faster than walking. Out in the open, a white-silver mare roamed around in circles, charging every movement. Her mother had been captured and forced to leave her foal. The mare was so beautiful the people all wanted to capture her and tame her too. The snow was Mother Earth’s protection for the mare. The mare was hard to find because of her white coat. Some people called the mare Silver Ghost. Some called her The Snow Goddess. Others call her Snowflake. But no matter what you call her she will capture your eyes and hide them in her flaky mane.

The Wild Mare a foal and a mare

The mare and foal didn’t need to worry about men anymore

The mare was not just beautiful and fluffy and soft, but she was as fast as the wind, as slick as a fox, and as quiet as the dead. Many men had tried to capture her with tricks and food. But the mare had learned about the tricks and was too smart for the foolish men. But she had to deal with one problem. Winter. Though the crystal trees and blankets of fluffy white snow were beautiful, the mare had to find food. She had two hard choices: she could either go down low near her enemy, men, or go up high where men were not likely to come but there was less food.

One winter the mare had made the choice of going near men. The first day the mare stayed up in the mountains. The second day she went to graze in the furthest place from men where there was grass. The grass freshened up the mare’s mouth.

In the summer the men came often to the grassy place. The mare was white and couldn’t use camouflage then. Every day the mare hoped for mist. She would run into the mist and disappear like a ghost. But not every day was a storm of mist bound to come.

The men would come and go. The mare became tired out. The mare was expecting a foal. The men knew now that they could capture her. When the foal was born she got started with its lessons of survival. The mare showed the foal the good foods and the bad food. She also taught the foal how to escape traps and how to avoid traps. The men were amazed. The mare was impossible to capture. The men couldn’t stay by the mare forever. Their food was running out. They had no choice but to leave. They had to leave the land. They did the mare a great favor.

The mare and foal didn’t need to worry about men anymore. But the mare kept teaching her foal to avoid men and their traps and harm. The foal won’t be captured, thought the mare. It was quite unlikely for the mare’s baby to be captured because his mom was the great top horse of the land.

But one day the mare had to let the foal go. Now full-grown, he had to leave. Neither the mare nor the mare’s son wanted to leave one another, but the mare knew her son’s life would not be complete if they stayed together forever. The mare was weak. It was her turn to leave the crystal mountains and never-ending valleys. She had lived a life of freedom. She could be free forever, but she could not live forever.

The Wild Mare Emily Villano

Emily Villano, 7
Rochester, New York

The Wild Mare Lina Kavaliunas

Lina Kavaliunas, 9
Hoffman Estates, Illinois

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