A Story about FreedomSaturday, November 21, 2015
A wild horse was born on a small grass ranch, on a day where the morning sun shone the brightest and the cool spring wind swept away the remaining leaves that fell during winter.
The first few years of his life were carefree. He would wake up just as dawn breaks, and chase the little morning birds around in his ranch as his morning exercise. He would then head to the nearby pond for a refreshing dip in the cool water, before feeding on the tender grass that are moistened with morning dew.
He enjoyed the feeling on running freely, and would gallop round and round in his ranch. The exhilarating adrenaline of watching the world whirring around him, as he went faster and faster, made him giddily happy. He would only stop running when the crickets came out to sing his bedtime tunes for him.
As he lays in his shed, with the moonlight casting its white blanket over his body, he would think about his day and anticipate eagerly about the next. Every night, he would make a wish for the morning to come a little bit faster, before he drifts off to sleep.
But as life would have it, freedom does not last.
A few years went by. Soon, the pond was drying up and the grass in his ranch stopped growing. He could no longer do what he liked as his food and water started depleting. To conserve his energy, he had to stop his morning and evening runs, and whiles his entire day away resting in the shed.
Away from the sun.
Away from the ranch.
Away from the world.
The horse grew more lethargic as the days went by. The chirping birds in the morning were starting to get on his nerves. The remaining water in the pond felt warm and musky. The evening sun sets quickly and darkness takes over the world in a blink.
He had to do something.
Mustering his remaining energy, he left his shed in search for a place with food and shelter.
After walking for an hour, he caught a whiff of fresh grass wafting through the air. Like sparks that suddenly erupted into a fire, the horse felt a surge of energy through his body and galloped towards the scent.
He stopped in front of a tall, wooden door. The smell was coming beyond this door. He knew he had to get in, but he did not know how. Filled with a sense of desperation, he broke down in tears and neighed loudly at the sky.
Suddenly, bright lights pierced the darkness and momentarily blinded the horse. Two shadows murmured something in front of him, and then led him into the place. That night, the horse felt alive again. He fed on the fresh grass that was given to him, and was rejuvenated by the smell of lavender that filled the air as he was scrubbed and washed with cool water. That night, after a very long time, he made his night wish again.
The next day, he was jolted wide awake by a sharp pain across his body. A figure was standing in front of him, sneering and mumbling something. The figure then climbed onto his back, which was already fitted with a brown, leather saddle. Another sharp pain burned through his body, and the horse started to gallop around in hope to numb the sting.
For awhile, the long whip that was causing the pain did not land on his body. Just as the stinging sensation start to subside, he felt the pain sear through his body again. He galloped as fast as he could, hoping that the adrenaline from his speed will help ease his pain. After what seemed like eternity, the figure finally got down from his back. He was then led back to his shed, when he saw a huge sign with the words "Animal Amusement Park" written in red paint just outside the tall, wooden door.
As he was about to fall asleep, he was again jolted awake with the burning sensation. Another figure climbed onto his back. Somehow, he knew he had to gallop around the place in order for that whip to not land on his body. This cycle continued for another 5 times throughout the day, before the place started to quieten down as the evening sun disappears into the horizon.
That night, the horse lay awake under the moonlight. In exchange for food and shelter, the horse gave up on his freedom. However, he thought that at least he had more energy now. He could gallop and run around, albeit not on his own terms. He assured himself that food and water are more important to him now. Galloping around a ranch will not make him as happy as having fresh grass, cool water and a well maintained wooden shed over his head.
That night, the moonlight on his body felt like a catalyst to his bruises and scars. Before he drifted off to bed, he wished that the morning come just a little bit slower. He could use more rest to heal his battered body...
This daily cycle continued on for the next 5 years, and the horse had a body full of internal injuries due to incessant whipping, and two distorted hooves from all the rides on his back.
As he lay awake on the night 5 years since he entered this place, he felt the same sense of despair he had felt on that night where he stood outside the tall, wooden door. He had traded his freedom for survival, but was his life any different now?
Instead of looking forward to each day, he were wishing for the nights to last longer. Instead of feeling happy, all he felt every day were pain and misery. As he thought about his life now, he could not help but neighed into the night, his haunting cry reverberating in his shed several times louder. On this particular night, he did not make his usual wish.
The next day, the morning sun shone brightly and the cool wind seemed to sweep away the pain in his body. Despite hearing the sound of the whip crack on his body, he did not feel the familiar burning sensation. As usual, a figure climbed onto his back and instinctively, he started to gallop.
"Crack!" The whip landed on his body again.
This time, however, he did not pick up speed.
This time, he neighed loudly and stood on his 2 hind hooves aruptly. The figure tumbled down from his body and was making a lot of noise. The horse then trampled over him, which stopped the irritating noise. As he galloped freely and wildly in the compound, he felt the much-missed adrenaline coming back to him. The screamings surrounding him became distant as he once again felt the world whirring around him. He laughed happily as joy permeated in his body, dissolving all the pains and stings on his battered body.
Suddenly, the big, well-built park ranger stopped him in his tracks by holding him on the reins that were fitted alongside with his saddle. The horse then felt the pair of strong hands on his neck. As he close his eyes for what he knew was coming, he made his last wish: for this coming darkness to be eternal.
And with a great force, the ranger snapped the neck of the horse into two.