A Horse’s Voice

I remember one day when I was in my early teens, probably just eleven or twelve. We were boarding horses at a public stable some twenty miles from our house in San Francisco. We arrived to the sight of smoke pouring out of one of the barns, the barn where the old grey mare was. She was not old then. I remember running up to the barn in a panic, but did not find my horse. My heart was beating, I was too stunned to even cry. I ran back in the direction of my mother, who was probably making inquiries. I called out to her “I can’t find her!” I don’t remember what she called back to me because my mind was overwhelmed just then by the sound of the mare’s voice in the distance. It was coming from the other barn. She had heard us and answered.

I can’t remember a time when I could not recognize my horse’s voice. Almost all of them are distinct, though many have voices similar to their mothers. Even so, their personality will change the inflection or pitch of their voice from the one Nature gave them.

No horses were lost in that fire. Someone had acted quickly enough to get them out.

I don’t know what made me think of that. Perhaps it was the loss of a little grey mare we only had for three months. Perhaps it was someone’s Twitter account of a childhood trauma. In any case, it was a special memory, that mare calling to us over the hubbub.

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