Wednesday, 28 January 2015

I Believe...

“His name is Zünden” said Miss Mariska.

Zünden was out in the paddock and had only come to the stable in the past few days. As a newcomer he was definitely a curiousity among the other horses.

“A flat racer! I heard he was the chalk before the incident…” Ebony hollered from the stall at the far end.

“He had a stumble and fall. It could have been a blanket finish” said Miss Mariska.

“Yea, but he bolted and blew the turn!” sneered Ebony.

Since that race Zünden had been spooked and the next couple of races he was off the board. His owner had brought him to the stable for help. He’d been on the track since he was a sophomore, a push button. But now, if you could get him to break from the starting gate, he was jumping shadows. He’d turned into a real savage too. Ebony had been in the paddock with him the first few days and was badly bit. But Amore was still intrigued by Zünden.
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They seemed to be at opposite ends of the spectrum in their manners but she sensed that there may be more to the story than Ebony knew anything about. She watched Zünden from the opening of the barn. He’d occasional flit by kicking and rearing if there was anyone in his path. They’d left him alone in the paddock since he’d attacked Ebony.

Amore’s interest didn’t wane due to obstacles. She was a watcher, and ever so patient. In fact, she was often drawn to take the path of most resistance. She had an inimitable strength of character. Her quiet resilience is what kept her alive in those most challenging times and she knew that one day she would be with her true Amado.  Until then, she would keep him close in that place where one could linger between wakefulness and slumber. Wait for him where her dreams were vivid and her love real…

Pushbutton: A jockey reference to a horse that runs like a sports car. Off in a flash!  
Jumped a shadow: Horses that jumps imaginary objects on the racetrack.
Blanket Finish: A term to refer to a close finish with a competitor.
Blew the turnReference to improperly cornering a turn resulting in a disastrous finish.
Chalk: The betting favorite.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Hatchery of Ideas

By: Marie Bee
In one of my roles, I work at an elementary school and so my days are filled with questions, laughter and imaginative minds. I have the pleasure of starting my mornings surrounded by kids who adore sharing their ideas, thoughts and explanations for why things occur. I always love when these explanations are in reference to animal behaviour and/or ecological processes. There are two examples that have stayed with me that reveal the loveliness of how children associate their experiences in how they relate them to themselves. The first occurred on a chilly morning a few months back as the sun slowly started to heat the playground creating the dewdrops to evaporate into the air from every surface. I heard a little boy call out “the tree is breathing!” and a group started to circle around the base of the large trunk to watch as the sun warmed its bark turning the morning droplets into little misty clouds similar to when one exhales… In the past weeks, I have had the company of a little girl who tells me about the chickens she has at home. There are over 40, but she has told me that she does know a few of them quite well, one in particular by the name of Henrietta. As it were, Henrietta had fled their place a while back. I listened to her story of how Henrietta had disappeared and return one day with a crowd of little chicks following closely behind her. I loved the explanation that this little girl gave me which was that Henrietta had left because she wanted to have a family. As they collect the eggs Henrietta would not have been able to have her chicks had she stayed. And so, as she stated this was the only way that Henrietta could be the mother she had dreamed of being… I am always fascinated by the logic that kids come up with to explain behaviour, understanding or function. They are often inspired by the understanding they have of themselves but more importantly they express a genuine empathy toward the beings that they encounter.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A well of clarity...

By Marie-France Boissonneault

It had been a few months now since Miss Mariska had been moved the stall adjacent to Amore. She was a playful companion that had slowly brought out Amore’s drive for adventure. Together they had been watchful of the routines in the stable and paid close attention to the comings and goings of the humans that moved about the barn. Some would stop to look in on them from time to time and Amore could remember the ones that would take a moment to be gentle with her. A few other horses had come and gone in that time but Amore and Miss Mariska were a constant. 

The two would connect in the paddock since Miss Mariska had been moved to her own stall but their closest interactions were in the stillness of the evenings. The ranch was quiet and the barn closed up for the night. These calm evening tête-à-têtes are what Amore looked forward to during the drudgery of the routines of the day. She loved to listen, and Miss Mariska had such lovely and imaginative thoughts about the world she would construct beyond the barn. Amore had confided in her on several occasions about the lives she lived before the barn, her dreams, and the desires she had to once again run in the freedom of the sunlight accompanied by her Amado. She had such a respect and admiration for Miss Mariska who had a true sense of integrity. Miss Mariska also seemed to have a deep understanding of Amore’s inner self; she was like her well of clarity...

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