Timmy and the Filly-A Timmy Tale

            When Antonia and her friend, Ama, had first spotted the black Arabian stallion, Spirit in his ten-acre paddock, his head was down as he sipped water from the scenic pond near its center.  He was standing beneath a willow tree with his faithful 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 Antonia whistled to the stallion. 

            Spirit’s head shot up at the sound of Antonia’s whistle.  He was every bit as stunning as the black stallion from the movie the young women both loved so much.  Spirit turned on his heel and galloped toward the two women standing at the fence.  Ambush ran behind him.  Spirit slowed to a trot and the bay gelding managed to catch up staying at the gallop, and then he too slowed to a trot. 

            As they both watched Spirit trot 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.  I want you to share in my joy. I was so happy when my best friend called from New York and told me she was coming to Dallas to start her own law firm,” said Antonia.

            “Best friend? Oh, you mean me,” laughed Ama.

            The two women hugged, both laughing.  Spirit snorted, reached over the fence and pressed his lips to Antonia’s head and then Ama’s.  They broke apart laughing once more and Spirit drew back his head, snorting again.

            “See Ama, Spirit approves,” 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 Anatolian 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 Ralph and Lauren,” 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 Ralph, Lauren 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,” said Gina, stepping around the corner hopping as she pulled 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 emeralds. Her tiny t-shirt which bore the name of Antonia’s fashion label, bigshotcowgirl, exposed the slightest midriff. She wore jeans that accented her hips and a very fit, gluteus maximus.  A pair of red leather boots engulfed the lower part of her jeans to finish out the ensemble. 

            “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.  Ralph and Lauren 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!” said Antonia as she 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 and jumping into the back of Antonia’s jeep.

            “Ama, you drive!” commanded Antonia as she jumped into the passenger side, shotgun in hand.

            The key was already in the ignition, so Ama 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 front 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 chestnut, 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 frantic cries.  As they sped toward the calamity, they saw Timmy, the golden pony, gallop up and start kicking one of the coyotes and then as if on cue, Ralph and Lauren burst onto the scene.  Those coyotes didn’t have a chance.  They were outgunned and they knew it.  So as if they were connected telepathically, all three of them sped off at once.  Ralph and Lauren 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.  She strode 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.  Finding no injuries, 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, “Rose, your little girl is okay.”

            The chestnut 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. 

            As they watched the filly trot toward her mother’s side after encouraging her through the gate, Ama said, “She’s beautiful, Antonia.”

            “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.”

            “She’s not a gift,” laughed Antonia.  “You have to work for her.   You have to help Gina and me at the ranch, when you’re not too busy with your law firm, of course,” Antonia winked as she said it. 

            Ama stood up, tears in her eyes, and faced Antonia.  The two women embraced as Gina looked on. “I love you, Antonia,” said Ama.

            “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 Olympic Spirit, in honor of the legacy of our beloved black stallion!”

Hard at Work on the Next #TimmyTale

WritingaTimmyTale

On the surface, writing seems like it would be easy. I mean, you just sit there in front of a computer or relax in a chair while you write in a spiral notebook… How hard could that be? It’s not like laying concrete in 90 degree heat after all.  Yet so many of us writers seem to find it so hard to do.

When I was in my twenties, I couldn’t understand where writers got their ideas. But now in “middle age” (I’m 54), I have more ideas than I can possibly put into book form in one lifetime, so that shuts me down.

too-many-choices-paralyzes-progress

Too many choices paralyses progress.  Here’s a good article on the subject:

Too Many Choices: Problems With Searching for an Extraordinary Life

And for me, it’s not just writing, but being interested in so many things (like I think a lot or writers are), such as; astronomy, artificial intelligence, physics, it goes on and on…

Unlike the guy in the article, I didn’t have a childhood with choices or support, in fact, I mostly just had to survive my childhood.  But now, I do have choices, which has become a problem.  So because I can’t choose, for now, I’m going to keep writing Timmy Tales or other horse related short stories and horse related articles, because one constant in my life has always been horses.  Not that I had them growing up, but I read everything I could get my hands on about them, fiction or non-fiction and I watched every movie and tv show that had horses whether or not I liked the show itself.

So for now, I choose horses (and all my other 4-legged loves).

Joey and Chandler approve of this post:

JoeyandChandlerwriterhelpers

The Premarin Mare

EndPMU

PMU is used to produce estrogen and hormone-replacement drugs such as Premarin, PremPro and PremPhase and DUAVEE, a “PremPro-Lite” which contains Premarin. PMU drugs are made by keeping mares constantly pregnant and collecting their estrogen-rich urine.“-equineadvocates.org

Several years ago when I volunteered at Hope for Horses, a horse rescue which was formerly located in Blue Ridge, Texas, I learned about the details of the PMU industry.  As a pharmacist, I already knew that the Premarin stood for “Pregnant mares’ urine”, but I had no idea as to the extent of the cruelty in the industry.  I was inspired by what I learned to write the following short story from a Premarin mare’s point of view.  The story is sad, but there is hope for the mare, because Hope for Horses and many other rescues throughout the U.S. and Canada have saved thousands of these mares and their foals and continue to do so.  Please consider the multitude of alternatives for hormone replacement therapy. Estrace, for example, is one of the many alternatives available and is plant based and it has a very inexpensive generic, estradiol.

Author note: I took some poetic license with this story because I have never actually visited a PMU farm.

The Premarin Mare

            The man was leading me through the large, cold building.  I could see the heads of the other mares above their stalls.  But worst of all I could hear their mournful cries.  I had lived among other horses before, but I had never encountered such an intense smell of manure and urine before in my life.  There were too many horses in this building.

I nickered softly to the man who led me through this hellish nightmare.  I hoped that he would have sympathy for me and take me away from this place.  He refused to turn and look at me.  I stretched out my head and nuzzled his neck.  He turned and struck me so viciously with his fist that I was stunned.  I had never been treated roughly by a human before.

​            It seemed ages ago that two other men had come to my home and had taken me away.  I can still remember the sound of my little girl sobbing and calling my name after I was loaded into the trailer.  Up until that moment I hadn’t been worried because I thought I might just be going to see the man who would look in my mouth.  I could see my little girl through the panels on the side of the trailer.  She was running toward me, her long blonde hair streaming out behind her.  She was screaming my name between her wrenching sobs.  I answered her screams.  I whinnied frantically.

​           The last thing I saw as the trailer began to drive away was the big man who lived in the house running toward my girl.  He swept up my sweet little girl into his arms and held her tight.  She was struggling.  She had pounded her fists into his chest as she screamed my name.

​            Now, the man was leading me into one of the tiny stalls.  I stopped and refused to move forward.  He reached out and pinched my nostrils together with his huge hand.  The pain was excruciating, especially since he had just punched me there, but I still stood my ground.  He called to someone else.  Another man walked up behind me and pressed something against my flanks.  Incredible pain surged through my body and I bolted forward.

​            I was immediately chained to the stall.  I tried to rear and buck, but the chains were too strong.  Once my energy was exhausted the men hooked tubes to my lower body.  The tubes were uncomfortable and rubbed between my inner rear legs, but there was nothing I could do.

​I awoke to the sound of the other mares whining horribly and struggling against their chains.  It may have been morning, but I couldn’t tell.  My stall was too far into the depths of this large dismal building for me to see outdoors.  My legs ached from standing all night on the concrete.

​            Then I realized why the other mares were struggling so hard.  Men were bringing around buckets of water.  I had never been so thirsty in all my life and so I began to struggle too.  The mares on either side of me tried to bite me as the man came closer.  I snapped back at them.  We had become like vicious animals.  No longer did there exist a herd mentality among these mares.  We were struggling violently to take care of our own needs.

​            The man stopped in front of my stall with the water bucket and I quickly sank my muzzle into it.  But before I had taken three gulps, he ripped the bucket away from me and continued to the next mare.  I whined after him pitiably.  I was so thirsty.  Surely more water would come around soon.  As the men with the water buckets passed through the rows and rows of mares, I could hear them whining and struggling to get to the water.

​            Weeks or maybe months went by and nothing improved.  My body ached.  I would often dream of my little girl.  She would be riding me across the pasture on a beautiful sunny day.  She was as light as a feather and I cantered happily about the pasture listening to the sound of her laughter drifting above my head.

​            Maybe someday I will see her again and I will answer her laughter with a carefree whinny.

PMUAlternative

 

 

Timmy and the Girl-A Timmy Tale

Just for fun I’m going to write a series of short stories centered around my little rescue horse, Timmy. Here’s the first one! Timmy is just so cute I felt compelled to write stories about him! Hope you guys like it!

CuteTimmyatcar
Timmy

Gina shimmied under a low spot beneath the white, pipe fence separating the front pasture of Kuhaylah Arabians from the road, and the pony trotted right up to her as always.  She pulled the carrot from her pocket and, not wasting any time, he took the entire treat in his mouth before the rest of the herd noticed.  The pony was the smallest of the bunch and not a purebred, like the rest of them. He was a cutie though, a beautiful coppery, golden color, with a dishwater blonde mane and tail and a jagged, white, blaze running the full length of his face to the tip of his nose.  And on this lovely Spring day, his slick coat glistened in the sun.  The pony didn’t leave after he finished the carrot, but stayed with Gina.  She was drawn to him because she was an outsider in her circles too.  And, like him, she had dishwater blonde hair, although it was cuter on him in her opinion. Gina felt less than cute with her skinny body, and long, stringy, often tangled, hair.

Gina spoke softly to the pony, rubbing his neck and scratching his cheek, the way he liked. “I love you little boy, I wish I could stay here with you,” she said as she started to cry.  She hugged his neck as the events of the previous day came crashing back into her brain.

“We have to add Gina Targoff to the list,” Chet whispered.

“Of course! She should be at the top!” responded Cassie, in a louder whisper. Chet, Cassie, and their minions all giggled.

Gina was keeping her head down, pretending to read whatever textbook she had opened in front of her.  She refused to cry; she would not show them weakness.  Even though Gina knew they were whispering loud enough for her to hear on purpose.  Samuel James Middle School was almost a daily exercise in humiliation.  She fought back the tears though…

“Yeah Gina is definitely the ugliest girl in the school,” said Chet.

They all laughed again.

The golden pony put his head on Gina’s shoulder as if he was trying to comfort her.  She hugged him tighter and just let the tears flow until there were no more, but she continued to hug him, just taking in his horsey scent and allowing it and the quiet to calm her mind.

“Timmy has really taken to you,” said a voice behind Gina. One with the slightest hint of an accent, an accent from another country though, not rural Texan as Gina had grown accustomed to.

Gina straightened and jumped back a step from the pony in one quick move.

“I’m sorry. I know I’m not supposed to be here,” said Gina looking up at the woman astride a black, Arabian stallion, solid black save a small white star on his forehead.

“Come closer girl,” said the woman.

Gina walked toward her and saw that she was probably around her mother’s age. She was beautiful, with an exotic look about her.  She had her long brown hair pulled back with a black velvet scrunchy.  But then Gina’s eyes were drawn back to the horse.  So much like the black stallion she had read about, except the one in the books was solid black. But this stallion before her had the same wild look of the one in the books; thick black mane, forelock blowing in the breeze about his face, and a thick, flowing tail.  He pranced about a bit and snorted a couple of times.  The woman said something to him that Gina couldn’t quite hear, and he settled down.

“What is your name?” asked the woman.

“Gina…Gina Targoff,” Gina answered. “Please don’t have me arrested. I’ll never come on your property again.”

The woman laughed. But in a lilting way, not in a, you’re darn right you’re going to jail, kinda way.

“I was actually thinking of offering you a job. I’ve watched you with Timmy. You two have formed quite a bond.”

“Timmy, a cute name, for a cute little boy!” said Gina.

The woman laughed again.  “My name is Antonia Silva and I am the owner of this ranch.  So, what about the job?” Antonia asked.

“I don’t know anything about horses or ranches,” Gina answered.

“Do you know how to drag a water hose or carry buckets?”

“Umm, yes…” answered Gina.

“Okay, good.  We’ll start with that,” Antonia smiled.

Gina smiled back and then jumped when something firm and soft rubbed the small of her back. She spun around and little Timmy nuzzled her chest.   Gina reached out and stroked his face.

“He loves you and trusts you.  You’re a natural with horses,” said Antonia.

“He’s so sweet. May I ask how he came to be here among…” began Gina.

“…among all these purebred Arabians?” said Antonia finishing her sentence.

“Well…yes.  Is it rude to ask?” said Gina.

Antonia laughed again. A sound like music to Gina. “No, it’s not rude, Gina.  He was my horse, when I was a young girl in Brazil. The story of how he and I came to be here in this small north Texas town is a long one,” Antonia said with a smile on her face.  “Spend a little more time with Timmy and then head up to the big house and I’ll show you around,” said Antonia as she wheeled her black stallion around and galloped up the hill toward the house.

Gina watched the beautiful woman in control of such a magnificent animal and couldn’t help wishing that could be her one day.  She turned back to Timmy and gave him a hug. “Did you hear that boy? Now I can see more of you and no more sneaking around!” One of the chestnut Arabian mares had come closer, curious about this skinny, young girl in the big pasture.  Timmy laid back his ears and turning on a dime chased her off as if to say, “This is my girl!”

Gina laughed, for the first time since she could remember. It had been a long, emotional journey from Dallas to Dale City. Even though they were only an hour apart, they were years apart in cultures, and the students of Samuel James Middle School did not respond well to a newcomer.  For the very first time in a long time, Gina felt like she was where she belonged.