An Equestrian's Prayer Answered
A horse lover sees her faith rewarded when her beloved filly is rescued.
She was close but I couldn’t see her. That part of the pasture wasn’t fenced. It didn’t need to be. There was nothing to interest a horse, only thorny blackberry bushes that made a natural barrier and a steep, 15-foot drop to the murky river. Why would she have come this way?
Then Dad pointed at something. A hornets’ nest on the ground, a few insects still buzzing angrily. Next to it was a swath ripped through the bushes. Instantly I knew what happened.
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Lady must have trampled the nest by accident, gotten stung, fled in a panic through the blackberries and fallen over the cliff.
Dad and I pushed through the brambles. There was Lady at the bottom of the cliff, stuck chest deep in the eight-foot-wide span of mud along the water’s edge.
I had to get to her. Without a second’s thought, I skidded down the cliff. I landed up to my waist in the clammy mud. Sticks buried deep below the surface stabbed at my legs.
I wrenched one leg up and managed to stand on submerged debris. Then the other leg. Step by step, I edged over to Lady.
“Try to lead her upriver,” Dad called from above. “There’s a place we might be able to pull her out. Keep her away from the bank. The mud isn’t so deep farther out.”
I still had the lead rope. I snapped it to her halter and she nudged her head into me.
“It’s okay, Lady, I’m here,” I said, my throat tightening as I backed toward the river. I pushed my curls out of my eyes with a muddy hand and set to work.
I pulled, trying to turn Lady away from the bank. She resisted at first. Then, putting her trust in me, she tensed and lunged. The rope burned my hand and she nearly yanked me off my feet, but I didn’t let go.
Slowly Lady maneuvered around until she faced me. I backed waist deep into the water, and she followed cautiously. The mud was thinner but still our progress was agonizingly slow.