An Equestrian's Prayer Answered
A horse lover sees her faith rewarded when her beloved filly is rescued.
Lady sometimes waded, sometimes swam. We made our way upriver a hundred yards to where the cliff gentled to a slope.
Mom and Dad were waiting. To our dismay, the mud was even deeper here. Even with Dad and me both pulling on the rope, we couldn’t get her out.
I stayed in the water with Lady while my parents tried everything they could think of. First a longer rope hitched to our tractor. Then as the tide came in and the river rose, Dad went down the road to the public launch and put his motorboat in the water.
Soon his boat nosed around the bend. I tied Lady’s halter short to the side of the boat to keep her tail and legs clear of the prop, and we towed her across the river. She swam along, afraid but trusting. The far bank wasn’t any better.
We were running out of options. The launch was too far to swim her. We towed her back to our pasture and tried once more. The tide crested but the water didn’t lift her high enough to get any traction.
As the tide fled to the sea, all hope seemed to drain out with it.
It was late afternoon. Lady had been in the water nearly 10 hours. She and I stood in three feet of muddy water, our heads together. This was too much for an old horse.
I closed my eyes and pleaded desperately, “Oh, Lord, please help us help her. I don’t know what I’d do without this horse.”
What was that rumbling noise? My eyes flew open and I looked up in amazement. Two big diesel tractors barreled into our field. Then a big pickup with a massive winch on the bumper.
We’d been too busy to tell them what was going on but somehow our neighbors had gotten word. They’d come to save Lady.
From the bank the men studied me and my horse. Ideas flew back and forth. A few attempts were made and abandoned. It was nearing dark when one man thought of his trawling net. “How about we wrap it around her, roll her on her side and drag her out?”
Digging by hand, several men pried her legs out of the mud and kept her on her side long enough for others to gather the net around her. They hooked the net to the tractors. As the tractors slowly reversed, Lady inched up the bank.
At last they hauled her onto solid ground. A cheer went up. But I didn’t feel like celebrating. Lady staggered to her feet, trembling and dripping, caked with mud, her head hung low. Her eyes were swollen slits, her ears canted down. She sank to the ground with a groan.
I brought her feed and water but she ignored it. I piled loose hay over her for warmth. I was ready to bed down with her but Mom sent me home.
“School is tomorrow,” she said. “Eat something and go to sleep. Dad and I will stay with her. We’ll wake you if there’s any change.”
I hated to leave Lady but Mom was right. There was nothing more any of us could do. Except pray.
“Lord, you know how much I love Lady,” I said. “Please, please don’t let her die.” I went back to the house in a daze. I dished up supper but I don’t remember eating it. I crashed on the couch, too tired to go any further.
Mom woke me during the night.
“Lady got up on her own. Dad just walked her to her stall. She’s going to be okay.”
“Thank you, Lord,” I whispered and fell into a deep sleep.
The next morning I climbed on the school bus. All the perfume in the world couldn’t have masked the smell of mud. My perm was ruined. Across the front of my new sweater was a big stain where Lady had just rubbed her dirty head.