I don't remember what time it was, or even what night it was, but I do remember exactly what actions took place. I was lying in my giant of a bed – it was only a twin but I had built the frame upside down so that the posts were supposed to be up were touching the floor – listening to the soft lullaby of country music drifting from my stereo and the hum of frogs and crickets from outside my window when our two mutt-bred dogs, Nikki and Blaze, began to bark. At first, it was only a single bark from each, one of those kinds that is from an animal only half-awake.
They soon quieted like any other night and I figured they had been chasing cats (in Nikki's case) or greeting strangers (in Blaze's case) in their sleep. Still, I sensed that they both remained on edge about something.
Sleep was just starting to hit me when they began to bark and growl again. This time, their barking was more alert, the growls more of a warning. This time, they did not stop after a few seconds.
I listened to it all for about five minutes, hoping they would stop so that I could get some sleep but it didn't work and I felt annoyance toward the animals in their pen outside. I sat up and crawled to the other end of my bed where the window beside their pen was. I banged against the glass with my balled fist just enough to get them to stop barking.
I investigated the vast darkness with the eyes of a hawk. Something white in the pasture that occupied about an acre of field behind my house and that of a neighbor's caught my eye.
The shape was familiar to one of those that usually drifted around the pasture. The trouble was, Blaze and Nikki had long ago ceased barking at the horses in that pasture and all of them were in the barn this night anyway. Sure enough though, the apparition in the field was a horse, a mare.
Was I imagining things? Was my tired mind playing tricks on me?
The mare moved. It was definitely a horse; my mind wasn't playing games with me. I had really and truly seen a ghost mare.