Chapter 1

New Life

She walked quietly and with a purpose. Her heavy burden helped to sink her feet in the soft earth. She came upon the top of a hill and examined her surroundings, ears twitching her and there. Her sharp eyes scan the nearby brush. She turns her head to the herd, watching the calm ears and heads of her friends and family. She spots the stallion eyeing her. She notices his nostrils quiver as his nickering reaches her ears. She mentally smiles at his encouraging call.

Silently she finishes her journey to the nearby thicket, which she noisily entered. She continued on to the thickest part of the thicket. Then she settled down for the long night ahead.

* ~ ~ ~ *

Early dawn: the herd slowly wakes up from a few minutes of rest. Those already awake were casually cropping the grass. The new mother isn't noticed till the morning sun finally rises above the hill to darken their bodies to a deep black. She has been watching the herd for some time, slowly acquainting her first born to her new home. The mares, foals, and stallion greet them with welcoming nickers.

The foal's wonder-filled eyes seemed to glow as they took in the entire sight. She never knew the world could be so big... and so... friendly. She stuck to her mother's side like glue as she walked toward the herd.

The herd surrounded the mare and foal, like the ocean and the tide. The sea of bodies thickened till the only light of day was a circle above the foal.

The mares began talking in the only way they can-- through body language. Although foreign, horse language is relatively simple, by human standards

A chesnut mare signalled using a light twitch of the ears and slight back position. In her language it would be roughly translated to 'Boy she's gorgeous.'

'Yeah, she got her color from your mother.' another chesnut responded with a small dip of her head.

'Her eyes definitely came from you though.' a gray mare added with some more ear twitches with a long blink.

'I'm not the only one who gave some of her beauty.' replied mother with a stiffening in the neck.

'Yeah, let's hope Ric didn't.' teased the gray mare, giving a swish of her tail. The other mares just snorted at the joke. If God gave Mother a full set of lip muscles she would have smiled.

Then suddenly the ring parted, and a strawberry roan, almost gray, mare walked forward.

'Mother.' said my mom, gracefully bowing her head in respect. Caressingly they nuzzled necks in the usual close-family greetings. Finally, they stepped up to gaze at the newborn.

My mother's mother approached me and lowered her head at my eye level. Several moments passed as she stared intently at my eyes. Finally, she broke her gaze and studied my back and legs.

Turning her head to mother, 'Has she been named yet?', her lips twitched, as if she was itching to say it in plain English.

'No, I want to wait till the perfect one comes to mind.'

Nodding understandably, she turned to me and greeted with a dip in the head, 'Hello, I am your grandmother, Wind Waker, but you can call me grandma.' her gray face smiled warmly. I pricked my ears closer together, smiling back. I snuggled up close to her, much like I did with mother.

A few more compliments arose from the other mares as the departed to do what mares do.

Grandma turned to mother and "whispered" in her ear. I understand all of it, but it was something about a "great runner." Whatever that is.