He said show her who’s boss. Standing with her head
in the corner and hooves nervous on the straw, a wild-eyed,
pregnant pinto pony, no taller than the quiet girl in a boy’s
t-shirt. The dad said she has to respect you, setting them
up for a fight. He goaded the girl forward, her dream of a
pony shot with dread. She took a small step, longing to touch
the mare’s mane but the mare swung her hips over, a hoof
took to the air grazing the girl’s cheek. His angry yell, no
time for foolish weakness, the stall door slammed trapping
the red-faced girl in her father’s anger and the mare’s fear.
When the barn was silent, tears brought gasping sobs, the girl
slumped in the opposite corner, hand to her face, shamed and
defeated. The mare watched through her forelock, shifting her
hind for a better view, one unseen step toward the wild girl, and
then another. The mare pushed breath slowly, the girl frozen
as the mare’s pink muzzle touched the scrape on the girl’s cheek.
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
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