It was a quiet night for me. I had woken up, hungry, but I had plenty of hay left over and started munching away at it. Napoleon was asleep in his stall and I looked at him as he snored a little. Shaking my mane, I returned to my hay.
Suddenly I jerked my head up, senses alert. There was someone there! Wasn’t there? I peered through the darkness at the barn door. Since I am a horse, my night vision is very good. But still, I could see nothing. But I heard the footsteps of someone nearby. Was it Alec? If so, what was he doing here? Maybe we were going to go for a gallop at the track, like we used to. I snorted softly, hoping that was it.
I snorted louder when the someone softly opened the barn. That woke up Napoleon, and he snorted sleepily but warily. I grew nervous instantly at this person. He did not move like Alec or Henry. And there were no other people that would come to visit me or Napoleon at this time of night. That likely meant he was up to no good. The thing that made me even more nervous was the fact that he said nothing at all. If he had said something along the lines of “Good boy” or “Take it easy”, it might have been better. As it was, both Napoleon and I were on high alert.
I finally spun in my stall, my hooves ringing against the floor, and I struck my door for good measure. I just wanted this human out of here. He looked around briefly, then started coming slowly towards me. Suddenly...I knew him. I knew this man. This was the man who had stolen me! The dark skinned man of the boat! Kidnapper! Beast! Human! I screamed loudly at him in fury.
Still he came closer, faster this time. He had the audacity to open my door! I instantly struck at him, but he dodged. This time. Again he tried to get closer to me, but I managed to make contact this time as I rose on my hind legs, legs flashing out in front of me. I could just hear Napoleon pacing around his stall in nerves, but he did not say anything. Again I reared, meaning to pound my hooves into the man’s body, but he rolled out from under my feet. I dare say I gave him a few bruises though, but he moved faster than I thought possible for a heavy man. He scrambled up and dashed out the barn door.
I stood in the barn aisle, sweated up from my fear and exertion. Good, he was gone. Now I heard voices. But voices I knew this time. Henry came in first and looked around, then turned the lights on as Alec came in too. I was very glad to see them and wished I could tell them exactly I had see. Or who I had seen. As it was I decided to move back to the comfort of my stall. Alec came over to pet my sweaty neck then was called away by Henry. They looked at some small object I couldn't see. Finally, Alec came back to look me over. I could feel his nervousness and I tossed my mane.
This time he patted me more firmly, and Henry leaned on my stall door and looked at me with approval. Presently, after Alec had gotten both me and the now calm Napoleon more hay, he and Henry found something. They talked in low voices so as not to excite us horses again, but it was clear that they were very concerned about something.
Since the sun was rising, Alec took care of us, even though it was earlier than usual. Henry promised to watch us both until Alec came back. I looked out the window. It was going to be a nice day! It had been too rainy of late, and I knew the grass would be extra sweet by now. I really wanted to get out there, but knew I would likely have to wait until Tony got here.
The old huckster came at last, and as had been happening lately, fed both of us.... full feed for Napoleon and a handful for me so I didn't feel left out. I liked the old man… liked his gentle mannerisms, his rich singing voice, and his deep chuckles. He let me nose him and gave a friendly pat to my nose. Now he took Napoleon out and expertly harnessed him. Even after all this time, it never ceased to amaze me how all of those straps worked. But Napoleon liked his job, and that was enough for me. Soon they both bid me a fond farewell and I happily answered.
Little did I know it would the last time I saw them here.
Not long after they had left, Henry came to see me, and I hoped he would let me out into my paddock. I was disappointed when all he did was pat me quickly and left the barn door open. He looked like he was expecting someone. I snorted softly when a car pulled up. Ah, this was a… what did they call them? A police officer? I remembered the kindly one I met during my arrival here. This was a different man, no nonsense, but he asked many questions. I assumed it had to do with what happened last night.
After a long while of much back and forth with the man and Henry, they came to look at me carefully. I pinned my ears back, not knowing what was wanted. However, I trusted Henry. Finally the officer had enough, and left me alone.
I whinnied at Henry as a request to go out and graze. I pawed hopefully and stared him down. Again, to my disappointment, he shook his head and said, “Better not today, boy. Just in case.” I pinned my ears back again to show my annoyance, but he only chuckled… with a note of worry, I noticed… and stuffed my hay net full.
At least I has something to do. I fell to my hay, munching in thoughtfulness while I waited for either Alec or Napoleon to come back.