Photo Challenge: Textures


She was a coyote fighter, moving just
off the herd, across the high desert prairie.
Buying her calves time to get back to their
mothers, she stood her ground, mouth
gaping open, bellowing loud enough to
alarm a shy predator into slinking away.

Abandoned when her bold service
was no longer needed, the calves all
grown and passed on a decade ago.
The ranch parceled away leaving her
no ground to stand for; the last gelding
gone to children. Even her teeth have

expired leaving hollow jaw bones barely
disguised by coarse hair. She brings
nothing but her wits and old memories
to my small horse farm. Lost, she has
no way to be useful, she brays at house
dogs. She guards what her cloudy eyes

can make out of the horizon from inside
a woven field fence. Coyotes still lurk
behind tall weeds, testing her boundaries. Do
not doubt us, predator, as we turn to face you.
We have survived your kind and we know
our worth. We will always stand for our own.

Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
Horse Advocate, Author, Speaker, Equine Pro
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. I take these photos with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high-tech.)


This blog is free, and it always will be. Free to read, but also free of ads because I turn away sponsorships and pay to keep ads off my site. I like to read a clean page and think you do too. If you appreciate the work I do, or if your horse does, consider making a donation.

Anna Blake

0 thoughts on “Photo Challenge: Textures”

  1. Praise God for old Burros who keep fighting the good fight and thankful for you “the old gray mare” who watches over the herd!

  2. As a horsewoman in the last few chapter of my life, your poem resonates with me; I see myself with long ears and a shaggy beard and think to myself, who shall love me in such a state. I wonder too, did my voice chase the coyotes away or did they run to fool me into thinking I had a purpose in life.

    • She is my mentor, I want to be just like her… and as for wondering if they fooled you, well, ask the calves. Thanks, Donna.

  3. Thank you for this piece. It may well be yet my favorite poem of yours. I love how you honor and respect those in your care. I am confronting the undeniable truth that years pass and changes accumulate… That knowledge makes me love, more than ever, the fierceness and bravery in her heart. In the immortal words of Bruce Springsteen, “No retreat, baby, no surrender.”

  4. There’s just nothing like a donkey bray. I’m so very pleased she gets to sing still, and in the company of other equines. You, Anna, the tolerant caregiver, consistently deliver such words of grace about her sassiness. Reading about Lilith, and all the other old souls in your life, is something I relish. Thank you.

  5. A teacher of incredible experience and wisdom. I’m glad she’s got you to do for her what she did for all those calves – watch over her. She’s a blessing.

  6. How great is it that this little old creature FINALLY got to her true home with all of her buds! Sure does bring tears to my eyes. There are so many many others who never are able to get there!

  7. I am completely enchanted with this photo, AND I like your words also. … Thank you, Anna, for keeping on keeping on ! Just like she does…..

  8. Pingback: Texture: Grass | What's (in) the picture?
  9. Beautiful…do you mind if I copy it and post it in my office? If she brays is she a mule or donkey? And do you write from an experience?

    • Dianna, yes, donkeys bray. And you are welcome to copy it, with my name on it. This is from experience. The donkey is Lilith, almost 40, and she came into rescue seriously failing. She came here and took a turn for the better. Now I think she might oulive me. Thanks, Dianna.

  10. The power of the mirrors that reflect what the eye sees to that box of words that shine upon that palate releasing the colors that paint me that beautiful image of the Coyote fighter. Thank You Anna


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