Hot Cajun Nights

They call me Cajun.

They had big hopes for me when I was born, I suppose. I ran my one and only race in Louisiana May, 2018. I was gangly, awkward,and unsure of what they wanted . . .  but I wanted to run.
I finished far behind the others but it was fun!
They didn’t think so.
Following that exciting day I was taken to a place that was too loud, too crowded….and not like the excitement of the racetrack. 
There were many more like me there and I listened to their stories, picked up on their fear.
What was this place? There were no kinds voices, no food.Mud and filth everywhere.  Surrounded by sickness and uncertainty I admit I became scared.  I was there for too long, and started feeling poorly. Sick. My head throbbed with every step, every breath.
Surely someone would come. .. . Someone would help.
Someone did.
A girl!  She spoke softly to me and said ‘Let’s go home’. I knew this was my new friend. . . 
She haltered me and  walked slowly beside me, for I could not go faster. I felt badly for those who were not coming with us. . that had to remain here. . . but I walked into the trailer behind her. Two others were in here , too! Fear crept in , a bit , but. . . 
Whatever was waiting, it had to be better than what we were leaving behind. 
It was.
My feet hurt terribly and I was burning hot, from the inside out. Here I could breathe though, in the clean air. I relaxed and it felt good to finally lie down on clean bedding.
She was kind, patient. Tended all my wounds, my aching head. My throbbing feet. . .
I don’t recall what happened there, really, I just knew it hurt. In my weakened state I needed to lie down most of the time, but the roomy stall with the thick bed of shavings and ever present hay made it not so bad. And the girl…I already loved her.
She was there every morning, always. Brought me treats, though I just could not ever get into those peppermint things , which made her laugh.
Slowly I began feeling just a little better… but my feet still throbbed if I was on them long.
There were other horses here like me. Wounded. Scared. Thrown away. She loved us all anyway.
As time passed I felt a little stronger. THe burning fever was gone… and the day came that she led me out to the big pasture! It felt amazing to be out there with the warm grass under my hooves.
To just be.
I thought surely I would keep improving. I wanted to….for her. For myself. I longed to run again…
But admittedly something just was not right. There was an ache inside I couldn’t explain. In my body, my feet. In my heart.
She knew though. . .
God knows she tried. I hope she knows there was nothing else she could do. THat I love her. THat I am thankful to her.
The nights turned colder and though she kept a warm blanket on me and slept beside me, I knew I could not beat this back much longer.
I told her.
She listened.
So on a cold November day, she cradled my head in her lap and said ‘I am so sorry for you, angel. But I love you enough to let you go.’
I took in the words, the smells, the sights. . . Felt her tears fall onto my face. 
And then I closed my eyes one last time. . .
It is my hope that she knows now, where I have gone, there is no more pain. No fear. No cold.
Only freedom. Joy. I can run on these legs as I was born to do. . .
With my friends Tee Brown…Kabanossi…Sid…so many!They are all here.
We all lost the same battle to return to full health , but we knew love. Kindness. Patience. That not all humans are cruel.
We know.
Maybe we’ll have a race of our own … or several. For now…here… we can run! Freely. Uninhibited.
I am okay now, please know.
My life was short. . .
But you made me feel as though it had meaning. 
Thank you for not just taking me in but loving me. For trying. For listening to me.
I will never forget you. 
And will always love you.
Hot Cajun Nights

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