"THE DREAMING TREE"
Old and spent the plowhorse stands,
Drawn by the wisp to the Lady's hand.
Beneath the leafy boughs he sees
The image of his dream set free.
-----poem by Bonnie Davis.
The sun sets on the horizon to the far reaches beyond my pasture.
The others graze contentedly; they chew steadily and consistently.
I roll over on my side, and I stretch my neck out. I lie beneath the shade tree.
I am enjoying the sounds. I cannot see anything but the glare from the setting sun. I have not been able to for a very long time.
The cart and harness are put away, and the children are snug in their beds. I know, for though I have never seen it, it has been that way for many nights, and will continue to be so even after I am gone.
My replacement arrived just yesterday, another survivor from whence I came. I do not know how, but he is a gentle horse and will serve our masters well. I do not think much about this, except to realize that She did not bring him.
She...my mistress. My saviour. She of the kind word and the patting hand; she of the carrot stick and not the beating stick. She who would never bring the lash upon my heaving flank, to drive me to where my blind eyes could not see.
She who blew into my nose, using my own language to reassure me, and rode me away from the screaming of the lambs.
The screaming of the lambs...
Another, a wiser one than I, had told me we would meet our ends that night.
I heard a shot, and his body hitting the ground; a loud noise only something our size can make. And then She came.
Miles down the road, we stopped, and I stood with her. The lights came and they shone through my blindness. I could not understand the words that were said.
The next day, she saw me off on the truck, and met me here, and we lived here together for a very long time.
One day, she had to go elsewhere to her own harness and cart. I stayed here, and lived a dull but carefree life. The children were kind, but they were not Her.
I yearn, but my breaths come slower, and the yearning disappears. I will breathe no more.
I see a light, and details; my first in many, many years...
Grayness and shadow intrude, oh no, but wait -
I see Her. Her hand is outstretched, is touching that of a man. He is in a cage. How strange. I have never seen a man confined so. He is doomed to die there, as I was in my barn.
But wait. He will not die there. No. She has touched Him, and so He will live. I know it to be so, for it cannot be otherwise. Her hand is kind and it soothes, it comforts; it opens eyes that cannot see and comforts fears that cannot be expressed.
I see a sunny pasture. The grass is greener than I'd ever imagined it could be. I see the Lambs. They graze here too, and they welcome me, bleating happily.
We munch contentedly; sometimes we buck and play. There are no fences, barns or cages here.
We await. We see all truths here, there are no doubts.
The day will come when She will ride me again.
I will gallop effortlessly, even though His weight will ride behind her. It is nothing to do so here. And I will go forth needing nothing but Their minds to wish my destination. The Lambs have their delicacies, but eagerly await Their hands to feed it.
I touch noses with the stallion I bore foals to in my youth.
A young girl comes here, carrying a fruit I've never seen. A nimble little deer follows her everywhere. She sits by us and sometimes she pats her fruit; sometimes she sits at my stallion's feet and pats his legs. I blow gently into her ear, for she reminds me much of my mistress. Her deer grazes with us. The Lambs walk without fear among our legs and graze beside us.
The Time will come. It always does.