Photo courtesy of Sunday Photo Fiction https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/sunday-photo-fiction-april-26th-2015/
This is a continuation of a story I began with Sunday Photo Fiction Called “Another State Another License Plate”. This is part 3, feel free to flick back and read the other two parts.
There may be more to follow!
Her beautiful eyes watch my approach over the half door. Latch unbolted easily, I coax her out in whispers. I scan behind her for a saddle and harness. She tippy toes anxiously to me, delicate like a ballerina.
Nostrils flared, clouds of steam squeeze out. Don’t want her kicking up a fuss. Must earn her trust. Skittish flicking of skin, twitchy uneasiness. She paces in circles, back towards the door, then stops. Back legs stretched out. Every muscle in her body clenched. Then I notice the hooves protruding and the liquid squirting, first just a trickle then a sudden gush. Tail is wrapped and strapped to keep it out of the way.
This horse is giving birth.
Now I see the ripples beneath her skin. Internal churning, pulsing, throbbing, sinewy life. Folded hooves, caught, cramped.
She lies down on her side. Back legs stretched, tail raised, head down towards ground, shivering. Her tail swishing from side to side, she lays her head down, curls it around her front leg.
Her breathing is filled with grunts and groans and moans. She’s asking me for help.
I need to pull. On my knees within kicking distance, I try to grab but my grip is slippery. I haul. Tug and twist. She heaves. Something gives, free, released. Another contraction squeezes.
I drag the legs out more, pull the head out, maybe. Hard to tell, it’s concealed in a membrane like a white plastic bag. I feel the head. I rub mucus from the foals face. I can’t tell if it’s alive or not, feels limp. Stiff limbs slide out in a slimy flop.
We all wait, stunned. My ears ring with static vibration like an electric shock. Slumped foal struggles to move. Wobbly head unsteady.
Mother horse exhausted, looks back with curiosity at her foal’s gangly attempt to get up. It’s when I follow her line of vision that I see the boots, a pair of green farmer’s wellies.