How Many are Waiting?
By Joanie Benson
She stood in
the field looking towards the gate waiting for her people to come. It had been
so many days since she had last seen them; the days were long and warm then. Now
the days are short and oh, so cold! She has grown weaker and weaker and still
She remembers back in her
life when times were happy and her belly was full everyday. Her people would
come many times during the day to put grain in her stall and hay in her manger, or to brush her, to bring her a shinny red
apple and to talk to her. Her people would explain what they wanted her to do
and she would try so hard to please them. Her people took her places and she
was asked to do the things she had learned at home. At these special times, she
had a chance to talk to the other horses and hear their stories. Sometimes a
horse would tell a story she could hardly believe, of their people starving them and their people beating them. Then Rescuers coming and taking them away to a safe place where all of the horses had stories like that
to tell, of getting better and happy again. . . . .and of wonderful new people when they were well again in body and soul.
have passed since then and she is much older and wiser to the ways of people. Many
times in her life a trailer has arrived and she would be loaded up and sent away wondering what she had done wrong to make
her people not want her any longer. Some were nice but as she has grown older
the people have become worse and worse. The last people were heard saying she
was not worth enough to call the vet when she was sick. She thought she would
cross over the Rainbow Bridge then, but she got better, just not as strong as she had been.
Those people took her to a horse auction to get rid of her. Now the stories
she heard in that place were the scariest of her whole life. The people who took
her from there were the meanest she had ever encountered.
That night as the icy winds
blew over her bony body she laid down with the thought that this would be her last night on earth. So many days, weeks, and months and no one has brought her anything to eat.
The next day as a gray dawn broke with the threat of rain and ice in the air she was so cold her legs would not work
and standing was impossible. The sleet started once again and the wind whipped
to gale force.
She awoke slowly as if in
a dream as a warm blanket was put over her and loving hands and towels were warming her freezing body under the blanket. New people were saying, “Come on girl, you can make it, get up. We will take you to a place where you will be fed, your hurting feet cared for, your sores doctored and
you will be loved. You are going to be alright.” She thought, “Could it be the Rescuers?” The stories
she heard so many years ago must be true. At that moment, with the freezing wind
howling, she felt the heavens open and knew it was not her time yet to cross over. There
were people who would love and care for her again and when the time did come one of the many Rescuers would be there to gently
lead her across the Rainbow Bridge to her final green pastures.
The ending for the horses at the sanctuary would be different than this one if the Horse Protection Society
had not been there for them. HPS is oldest long-term equine sanctuary in North
Carolina. Please become a Rescuer and help support the many horses that need