HI,, my name is Wildoats. I’m a horse so they tell me.

I’d like to tell you a story about how I came to be in book called “Saddle Spur” and John’s best pal. My story began when I was just a foal (young colt).  I wasn’t even weaned yet  from my mother’s milk when she was taken off to war, what ever that is.  I was locked up in a round pen with other newborn foals, their mothers went to war also. One day the human that fed us didn’t secure the gate properly and we escaped. I didn’t know what the others were going to do, but I saw the direction my mother had taken when she left me. I was going to find her. My legs were still a little wobbly, but I was determined. I knew she went in the direction of that bright object in the morning sky. There were fences I couldn’t jump over so I followed the wide dirt path my mother did. I found plenty of water near the path, but none of the food appealed to me. Whenever any human came along, I would run and hide, afraid they would take me back.

On the third day, cold, wet white stuff came from the sky and blocked my detection of the morning sun. I wasn’t sure if I was going in the right direction or not. The water that had been plentiful was now frozen solid. I couldn’t get at it. My hunger was getting worse also, I was about ready to give up and just lie down when I heard the braying of mules. They would have water and food, so I cut across a large barren field heading toward some buildings. I didn’t care if I was penned up again, just as long as I was warm, fed, and my thirst quenched. The buildings were all closed up except one small door. Taking a deep breath, fearing the unknown, I poked my head into the door. The smell of the mules, hay and other familiar scents greeted me. This was like home. Weak, cold and tired, I entered the dwelling. I instantly felt warmer getting out of the wind, even my meager coat wasn’t enough to prevent me from getting cold.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a trough with the frozen top cracked up, allowing me to drink the water. Two wooden rails prevented me from going into the barn any farther, but I could reach the water and used my muzzle to push aside the floating solid part and drink my fill. Once my thirst was quenched, I looked around for something to eat. Some hay from above littered the floor. I munched that, then a familiar smell led me over to several bags of oats, one was open. I dug right in eating as much as I could. Full, I laid down and slept for the first time since my mother was taken away.

 “What do we have here?” Was the first time I heard John’s voice. He came in as I struggled to rise. My legs were wobbly and unsteady. “Don’t be afraid, I will not harm you.”

John made his way past me without coming close, allowing me the open door to flee if I wanted. He then carried the oat bags through another door into another room. I went out the door but turned around, putting my head back inside out of the cold wind. John brought a metal container with some oats, sitting it on the floor near the other door he went in and out of. John then climbed over the rails and soon fresh hay was raining down from above to the area where I slept last night. Afterwards, I could hear John doing the same, throwing hay into the mules’ stalls. When John left by another door, I went back inside.

Later John returned but made no effort to come in where I was, instead, he leaned on the rail and talked to me. For some reason, his voice had a friendly, calming effect on me.

“What should I call you?” he asked, looking at me as he thought. “How about Wildoats, you are wild and love oats.” I never answered him then. I didn’t know how.

Each day for the next month or so, he came daily to talk to me and give me some oats. Not once did he ever try to close me in or put a rope on me. When the weather warmed, John came less for me, instead took the mules out. Since I was free to come and go, I soon started following him just so I could hear his voice. Later his touch.

This is Wildoats, the blogger said I will have to wait until the next blog to tell the rest of my story. Tune in and learn.

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