Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Horse

By Pao

There was nobody else except the horse that was nibbling grass in the middle of the field. Among the old grass of winter, the brownish white body was almost invisible. This was the third time I saw this horse since I moved to this land. Every time, it always stood there. Alone.

I was crouching the fence and observed the strips of the blue mountain and the grass hills. The horse was standing there, at the bottom curve of the hill, nibbling left and right, getting things from the ground. Once in a while, it would turn its face towards my direction. I saw the two dark spots looked back at me, but the distance between us was far enough for the horse to keep its business going without wasting its time with me.

Since the horse was the only creature here, there was enough of a reason for me to get his company. I climbed over the fence from a street and walked into the sloping field, up and down, slowly towards the white animal. However, I kept the distance. Before I would get closer than ten feet to the horse, I stood still and continued to observe its business. I saw that it did not behave any differently than what he did ten minutes ago: eating, munching, and looking at me from time to time. The only difference was that it spent longer time looking at me. Eye contact was such a powerful thing. Now the horse started to move out of its spot and walked towards me, yet still nibbling things from the ground along the way. Slowly, it moved closer and closer.

It was a very big horse. With big belly bumped out on both sides and big strong high shoulders covered with furry creamy hair, this horse was bigger than any common working horses I had seen. Its head was about as long as my leg. Two big black eyes were round and clear as an onyx. Long white eyelashes made the eyes the sweetest. Now the horseís face was only one inch away from mine. With its head turned to its side, I thought it wanted to fully observe me. Then it used its big nose to sniff me, first at the left side of my front pants pockets where I kept my hand warm, then the right pocket where another hand of mine was. Then it sniffed me on my face, my torso, down to my legs, my boots, then again, back to where my hands were. I took out my hands and touched its nose, its jaw, down to its neck, and back to its head. From this closeness, I could sense the horseís smell. This smell was like a mixture of a piece of old leather and something green. It would not be called as a good smell, but somehow I felt it was an appealing scent.

(to be continued...)

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