Spirit’s head was down, his long black mane almost touching the earth as he sipped water from the scenic pond near the center of his ten-acre paddock. He was standing beneath a willow tree with his faithful bay gelding, Ambush, by his side. It was like a scene from a movie…so beautiful, so serene. Ama felt the moisture in her eyes and cleared her throat, just as her good friend, Antonia whistled to the stallion.
Spirit’s head shot up at the sound. He was every bit as stunning as the black stallion from the movie the two women both loved so much. Spirit turned on his heel and galloped toward the fence where they stood. Ambush ran behind him. Spirit slowed to a trot and the gelding managed to catch up staying at the gallop, and then he too slowed to a trot.
Spirit trotted toward them with tail held high, Ama cleared her throat again and said, “He’s magnificent, Antonia.”
“Thank you, Ama,” said Antonia.
“I won’t lie, Antonia. I’m a little jealous,” laughed Ama.
“Ama, I love you and I would never want you to feel jealous. You do such good work at your horse rescue. “Beau’s Sanctuary”. You saved my sweet, Timmy, and so many other unwanted horses.
“I miss my dear, Arabian gelding, Beau. He wasn’t as impressive as Spirit, but he was black like your stallion and he had a thin, white, blaze running the length of his face. He was beautiful. I wish you could have known him, Antonia. It broke my heart when he was stolen. Searching for him is how I ended up in the horse rescue business.”
The two women hugged. Spirit snorted, reached over the fence, and pressed his lips to Antonia’s head and then Ama’s. They broke apart laughing, and Spirit drew back his head, snorting again.
“See Ama, Spirit loves you too,” said Antonia.
Now Ambush wanted to be part of the celebration too, so he softly nickered and shoved his head toward the women. Spirit stepped aside, ever respectful of the older gelding. Antonia placed both hands on Ambush’s cheeks and kissed him on the nose, “Oh sweet, Ambush, we would never forget you,” she said.
“C’mon Ama, let’s go to the house, I want you to meet my protégé, Gina Targoff. And then I have a surprise for you,” said Antonia. She then whistled three short bursts in the direction of the stallion barn and two German Shepherds appeared from deep inside it. They must have been napping because they stretched their legs for a couple of steps and then came running with tails wagging.
“Meet Dolce and Gabbana,” said Antonia.
“Ama laughed, “Of course that’s what you named them. Still missing your days in Paris, at Louis Vuitton?” asked Ama.
“Those were good days, Ama, but this place is my destiny,” answered Antonia in a serious tone, but still smiling.
The two women looked at each other for a moment and then Antonia, turned and headed toward the house with Dolce, Gabbana and Ama falling into step beside her.
“Gina,” Antonia called out as she opened the back door leading to the kitchen and she with her entourage in tow stepped in.
“I’m here.” Gina hopped around the corner pulling on her other boot.
Gina stopped in mid boot pull when Ama stepped from behind Antonia. Gina had always thought Antonia was beautiful, but Ama was breathtaking and at least ten years younger than Antonia. Her black hair tumbled down past her shoulders in loose waves. Her skin was the color of porcelain, and her eyes were almonds.
“Hello, Gina. I’m Ama Yasutsuna,” said Ama.
Gina managed to regain control of her jaw and said, “Hello, nice to meet you.”
Suddenly, they heard a shrill whinny. Dolce and Gabbana ran to the back door, whining and scratching at it. Antonia opened it and the dogs blasted out the door toward the sound. The whinnying continued…more frantic. It was coming from the paddock nearest the front pasture, northwest of the house.
“That’s one of the broodmares!” Antonia bolted toward the gunrack in the hall and grabbed her shotgun. “Let’s go Gina!” she said as she headed out the side door to the garage.
“I’m coming too!” said Ama, running out the door behind them.
“Ama, you drive!” commanded Antonia as she jumped into the passenger side, shotgun in hand.
The key was already in the ignition, so Ama leaped in, started the jeep, and shot out the back of the open garage.
The tires squealed a little as she put the jeep in drive and peeled out of the driveway. They sped over the cattle guard and then Ama wheeled the jeep a sharp right toward the commotion in the northwest pasture.
They all gasped. “My god!” said Ama.
At the top of the hill, they saw a baby black horse surrounded by three coyotes and her frantic mother, a gray Arabian mare, running along the other side of the paddock fence, screaming. The baby was crying too, but could barely be heard over the mother’s frenzied shrieks.
Timmy, the golden pony, galloped toward the calamity and started kicking one of the coyotes and then as if on cue, Dolce and Gabbana burst onto the scene. Those coyotes didn’t have a chance. They were outgunned and it seemed they knew it, when the largest one darted away with the other two close at his heels. Dolce and Gabbana took off after them, but Timmy was standing with the baby as they arrived at the scene. Antonia jumped from the jeep, shotgun at the ready before Ama brought it to a complete stop. Antonia ran toward Timmy who stood protecting the trembling filly. Mom was still running the fence line whinnying frantically.
Gina and Ama were now by Antonia’s side. Gina put her arms around Timmy’s neck, and he nuzzled her while Antonia ran her fingers over the baby, checking for injuries.
“Antonia, how did Timmy get into the mares’ pasture?” asked Gina.
Antonia laughed. “He’s quite the little jumper when he puts his mind to it. He’s the protector of the ranch and he knows it.” Finding no trauma, Antonia stroked the baby’s neck and said, “You’re okay, little Sapphire. That was a close call.” Then Antonia called out to the mare, “Melania, your little girl is okay.”
The gray mare, continued to trot along the fence, upset that her filly was not by her side.
Gina and Ama were now consoling the filly too, as Timmy sauntered off into the pasture, grazing again as if this had all been a normal day in the life of a plucky, little pony.
Antonia stood up and said, “Okay guys, help me herd this little girl back into the paddock and reunite her with mom. There’s a small gate just a little down the fence row, we’ll get her back in through there. Antonia began to coax the filly toward the gate, while Gina and Ama brought up the rear, tapping the filly’s rump from time to time. The process wasn’t too difficult because the filly was drawn to her mother’s cries.
The filly bolted through the gate and straight to her dam’s side.
“She’s beautiful,” Ama exclaimed.
“I’m happy you think so, Ama. She’s yours. She’s the surprise I was talking about,” said Antonia.
The filly trotted back toward the fence as if to thank them. Ama bent down to touch her face and as she was tracing the star on Sapphire’s forehead with her finger she said, “Antonia, this is too much. I can’t accept this gift.”
“You can, and you will, Ama. Timmy is the best little pony anyone could ask for. You saw what he did today. He wouldn’t be in my life if it weren’t for you.”
Ama stood up, tears in her eyes, and faced her friend. The two women embraced as Gina looked on. “I love you, Antonia.”
“I know,” said Antonia.
“Gina, come join this love fest,” said Ama, reaching out to her with one arm.
Gina joined their embrace. She shed tears too because she had never felt such love before in her life.
“We three are a team,” said Antonia. “Team Kuhaylah, in honor of the very first Arabian horse! ‘Hence, the Bedouins bestowed the name Drinker of the Wind to the first Arabian horse, whose name was Kuhaylah.’”