OUT OF LO-DEBAR

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  THIS STORY IS OFFERED WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO SOUTHWEST AG FOR YOUR KINDNESS AND GENEROUS ASSISTANCE AT A TIME WHEN IT WAS NEEDED!

 

This is the accounting of a turning point in the life of a pony, a promise kept and the hope that we will all awaken to our roles as “our brothers' keepers.” 

 One beautiful, early-fall afternoon, a volunteer with Annie’s Orphans went in search of a training/socialization experience, elated foster-dog in tow.  It looked like the makings of a happy, easy day and started out as such.  However, this mood rapidly unraveled as the two happened upon a group of working horses.  While, typically, that would have been a very welcomed occurrence, in this case, the first thing spied from a distance was a large pony, head slumped deeply toward the ground, rear hooves etching two parallel tracks in the dust as she lumbered forward in her work, her tone dejected and checked out.  As the two neared, the pony’s poor condition became clearer: The old mare’s body was pocked with bites and kick-marks; one eyelid, deeply scarred, covered a vacant and sightless eye; rear hooves were overgrown to the point of not clearing the ground when she walked; rear short-pasterns were bowed over, hooves misshapen.  Still, she worked on, as she had possibly done for most of her life. 

 Sadly observing -- and hearing someone nearby commenting on the pony’s plight -- the person reflected upon the wording on the t-shirt being worn that same day:  “Saving one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal.”  Girded with the supportive influence of Annie’s rescue, the very real sense of having been “called in” by the pony and the challenge to make the fair move, the person ransomed the mare from her miserable life, making a promise to the pony that she would live out the rest of her days in comfort and love.

 She was renamed “Stardust,” a reminder that we are all comprised of the very same elements and, as such, we are one and responsible to the whole – quite literally, All Our Relations.  Star was treated to good care, shelter, companionship (both human and equine) and kindness.  She lived a contented number of years with the person who rescued her, starting as a compliant, but wary girl who didn’t even know how to take a treat from an extended hand and growing into a trusting and beloved “pocket-pony,” sure of her place and ever surrounded by allies -- leaving behind the wasteland for greener pastures.

 And now -- just recently, in fact -- she has left again.  Her body rests in a grassy field on a mesa, amidst smells of sage and cedar.  But, what she taught continues.  The intangible gifts that she was given and that she gave back intertwine in an abiding dance, as does every committed kindness shared between “kin.”          

 

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