Funny 8th Grade Thing I Found: Storm Cloud: Wild Mustang
 
 

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Funny 8th Grade Thing I Found: Storm Cloud: Wild Mustang

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    06-05-2014, 02:23 PM
  #1
Yearling
Funny 8th Grade Thing I Found: Storm Cloud: Wild Mustang

So I'm in a mass spring cleaning and I came across my journal from 8th grade. I found a horse story I wrote. It's...pretty terrible. So, naturally, I must share it. I'll only do a chapter at a time because little me wrote a pretty long story You get the unedited, unabridged version with all its horrible grammar and sentence structures. Not to mention its somewhat lacking idea as to what a wild horse herd is actually like! Hope we can get a chuckle out of it.

So here we go!

Chapter One:

Once was a land by the sea that a small band of horses lived on. To that band, during foaling season, a horse brought forth the band's destiny.

It was then that a large grey stallion came upon the band and angered the lead stallion so that they engaged in battle. The fighting was so bitter that blood was strewn down the valley and ended with the grey stallion defeating the dark brown leader and sending him fleeing for his life.

The grey stallion trumpeted his victory to his new band saying, "I am Storm Cloud, leader of this band! Your old leader has lost his fight!"

There was a chorus of bray. With one voice above the others, "Do you mean Dust has left us?" The voice came from a large dusty brown mare standing at the head of the group.

"Yes, Dust has left you to me, to pass on my bloodlines to your offspring." Storm Cloud proudly shook his mane, "Your name?"

"My name is Wind.," trumpeted the mare, "And I was Dust's lead mare."

"Well," brayed Storm Cloud, "You shan't be mine. I shall pick for myself a mare to assist me in my leading."

This silenced Wind and quickly angered her so that hatred began to grow inside her like a spark growing into a brilliant frame.

Now darkness was coming upon the band so Storm Cloud dismissed his herd saying, "Sleep peacefully my mares, for tomorrow you shall need energy."

The group below him began to break into their sleeping groups. Storm Cloud lifted his large head to the heavens and looked at the stars with beautiful chestnut eyes before picking his way down the hillside and into the valley.

Most of the mares greeted him with fond knickers, but Wind simply snorted at him and lay down in her accustomed spot right next to where Dust used to rest. But Storm Cloud walked right past her so she called to him saying, "This is where the lead stallion, Dust, used to sleep." She flicked her ears next to her, "This is where his successor must sleep as well, for this is where all leaders have slept with their lead mare." Wind of course did not know if this is where all the stallions had slept, but she did know that if she did not stay lead mare or if Storm Cloud didn't sleep next to her, she would lose her place in the herd.

Storm Cloud heard her and he turned to face her, "Why is it you turn away from me but when you see me turn away from you, you plead for me to come to you?" he questioned her, "I should not give you the pleasure of giving you what you want, but sine the change will be hard for you, and since I am a well mannered stallion, I shall lay by you for one night but that is all, you hear?"

"One night is all I need." answered Wind quietly, "Then you may leave and chase some other mare." But in her head, Wind was plotting on how to keep herself on top.

Bending his great legs, Storm Cloud lay beside Wind. She spoke quietly to him. Telling him of what a great horse he was and how she envied his strength and that she always thought Dust was a shallow and silly leader. But as sleep overtook him, Storm Cloud thought, "Not Wind. I will not pick her." That was the last thought that went through his mind as Wind groomed his dirty pelt.

Morning came early with the sun rising over the hills. When Storm Cloud awoke Wind was next to him watching him sleep with soft brown eyes. As he raised his head to look at her, she knickered a greeting. But there was still something about her that he didn't trust, something in the way she watched his every move, or perhaps in the way she had greeted him. Storm Cloud shook the thoughts from his head and shaking his mane, the grey male lifted himself onto his legs and with a swish of his tail, left Wind, to learn the names of his new herd.

The first horse he came upon was a small black horse with a white sock on her hind left hoof. He greeted her warmly saying, "Hello, what is your name?"

"Oh Storm Cloud, " she said, looking him in the eye, "My name is Night."

"Night." mumbled Storm Cloud to himself, "Wonderful name." With that he excused himself and walked on to a dun, "Your name?" he asked.

"My name is Sand." she answered politely.

By the end of the morning he had learned Wind, the mare who was the lead mare; Night, the pretty black; Sand, the sweet dun; Sun the graceful buckskin,; Pepper, the lively pinto; and Sky, a beautiful white mare. As well as himself, that made his band a herd of seven. A small number.

"Please," said Night, coming up to Storm Cloud, "If you don't mind, why was it you said we were to need rest?" For we haven't left our camp."

"Ah yes," said Storm Cloud, lifting his grey mussel, "Thank you for reminding me. The herd will go to the place, wherever it is that you drink, then will give me a tour of the boundaries."

"I can do that." came a tart reply behind him. Turning, Storm Cloud saw Wind walking toward him. Night flicked her ears, and with a nod, turned and walked away. Wind watched her go before turning to Storm Cloud, "I will show you our borders if you like."

"Actually, I thought the whole heard would come along." he stared at Wind, "Then I could be sure they were all safe."

This made Wind snort with disapproval. Flattening her ears to her head, she turned and walked away. If that's the way he felt about her then so be it.

As soon as she disappeared into the band, Storm Cloud raised his head from the hillside and bellowed, "It is now past sun high, so now we shall leave, all of us together, and go to the river to drink."

With that, Storm Cloud thundered down the hill and into his band, rounding them up and herding them out of the valley.

As they began their trek, Wind took her place as lead mare. But as soon as she did so Storm Cloud came up to her saying, "Wind, I will have Night lead my herd today." Turning he snorted to Night, "Come lead my herd."

As Night came forward, Wind saw her and said, "You can't tell me that that horse is going to be lead mare here. She's hardly weaned."

"Yes," brayed Storm Cloud after a heartbeat, "Yes, she will be lead mare of my herd."

Hearing this, Night's eyes sparkled with happiness, "Do you mean that?"

"I do indeed," snorted Storm Cloud, "You shall be my lead mare and assist me in my leading from now on till the day I die." Turning to Wind, the stallion addressed her, "As for you, Wind, you can leave this rank and let Night take your place."

Alarm shot through Wind's eyes as Night took her place, flanked by Sun and Sand.

"And where am I supposed to be ranked now?" thundered Wind.

"Let's see," muttered Storm Cloud, "Where shall we put Wind?" he asked the black mare to his right.

"Let us give her my old rank," neighed Night, "So then I shall be flanked by Sun and Sand and Sky shall be behind them with Sky and Pepper and Wind flanking her. Then, of course, you shall follow, keeping us safe from the rear.

"Good decision Night," trumpeted Storm Cloud proudly, "You gave her what she deserved."

"Thank you, Storm Cloud," she blinked, "Now I shall lead our band to the river."

"Very well," snorted Storm Cloud retreating to the rear of his band, "Proceed!" He called to Nigh. She flicked her ears in response and the band started off. The grey stallion stepped in line with his tale bone slightly raised. But as they continued on, his head began to drop, as well as his tail. Soon his tail was trailing in the dust.

Finally he heard the voice he had been long to hear, "We're hear!" Night's call made him look up to see a vast landscape ahead.

Lush green plants surrounded the river and Storm Cloud saw a magnificent water fall dropping into a river.

Off to the left, on the other side of the water, a herd of horses came trouping through the dense forest. Storm Cloud didn't see the band until it was almost too late.




Few, done. Sorry if it's horrid. Just thought I'd share. But I got half way through typing it I was just thinking, "Oh man, why am I sharing this trash?" But I kept going so...
3ringburner likes this.
     
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    06-06-2014, 12:33 PM
  #2
Weanling
I wanna read the next chapter! I was interested!!!!
     
    06-07-2014, 02:07 AM
  #3
Yearling
Chapter 2

The band across the river came fast. A strong black male took one look at Storm Cloud's band and came thundering across the water bawling his threat. Storm Cloud's band scattered behind him. Night came and stood by his side, the light of battle in her eyes.

"I am Midnight, leader of the Forest band!" He pawed the earth, scraping away the grass.

"And I am Storm Cloud, leader of the Valley band!" Answered Storm Cloud, "What is it you want here?"

"Give me a mare or else you shall lose blood when I am forced to take all of them!" Midnight's nostrils were flaring as he reared verifying his intent.

"Go and meet him," Night whispered at his side.

The grey lifted his front legs, batting the air, let out a scream, and charged.

The two locked in battle as Midnight bit and struck out with his front hooves. Angrily, Storm Cloud fought back.

Pain shot through him as Midnight clamped his jaws hard onto the grey's withers. With a scream of agony, Storm Cloud broke apart from Midnight. The two stallions stood staring at each other, hatred glowing in their eyes.

"Well," brayed Midnight, "Have you thought of which mare to give me?"

Storm Cloud immediately thought of Wind, but to give up even one mare, even if she was the most untrustworthy one in his band, that would be a sign of weakness. And so he answered Midnight bravely, "I will give you none of my herd today."

"So be it." snorted Midnight, "But beware, Storm Cloud, for I shall strike again when you least expect it."

"I'll always be prepared then," answered Storm Cloud, "Be gone!"

With a last glance, Midnight turned and limped back to his band on the other side of the river.

"Well," snorted Wind smartly, "Shall we continue?" As she said this she stepped out of rank and walked up in front of Night, showing dominance.

Seeing this, Night trumpeted her rank the much larger brown mare. It was a challenge for lead as Wind returned the challenge. Night lost all control as she reared at the brown. Wind reared too, striking out. Seeing his mares fight angered Storm Cloud so he galloped to Night's side. He soon ended the dispute, and punished Wind by chasing her away from the band.

"Are you alright?" he snorted to Night.

"Yes," she answered, "Will you go after Wind?"

"Yes," sighed Storm Cloud, "It is dangerous for a horse to be without a herd. Take our herd back to the valley. I will find Wind."


Wind had been chased away and was now loping along down the hillside, she would cross the river down there and join Midnight's band.

But just then, over the hill, came Storm Cloud! "Wind!" he bellowed, "Stop! Don't cross the river!"

Turning, she saw the stallion pelting down the hillside until he was right next to her. "Wind, please," cried Storm Cloud, "Come back with me; you're not suited to forest life, you belong here with us."

"Why? What's so different about your herd as opposed to Midnight's?"

"Midnight's band marches with strict order, mine has order but it can change."

"If I come back with you will I have a chance to be lead mare again?"

"I just don't know."

"All right, I will come, but if any horse asks, it was against my free will."

Rolling his eyes and snorting, Storm Cloud took the lead on his way back to the valley.

Arriving back to the valley a half hour later, they were greeted by Night saying, "So you found her then."

"Yes, I did; I found her trying to cross the river into Midnight's territory."

"Well," snorted Night tartly, "She will have to be punished."

"I know a punishment," answered Storm Cloud.

"Oh, and what might that be?" questioned Night.

"You'll see," Storm Cloud answered smoothly.

Darkness was falling upon the valley band and the mares went off to sleep. As usual, Wind lay down next to Storm Cloud, but he addressed her saying, "Get up, for this is where the lead mare Wind used to rest. This is where her processor must sleep as well for this is where all the lead mares must lay with the lead stallion."

Wind's broad face stiffened and her eyes widened, but the shock left her and she flattened her ears before lifting herself to her hooves and with a snort stomped off. She lay down five horse lengths away.

"Night!" Called Storm Cloud to the small black mare a few yards away, "Come lay by me, for this is where the lead mare and stallion must rest together."

Excusing herself from the small group of mares, Night came and lay down in Wind's old resting place.

"Yes?" she asked Storm Cloud as soon as she was settled, "You called?"

"I did," Storm Cloud whispered to Night, "You are to lay here until the day I die."

"All right," answered Night softly, "but now I am tired and must sleep. So goodnight, Storm Cloud."

"Good night," whispered Storm Cloud closing his eyes.



Opening his eyes, Storm Cloud saw Wind and Sky huddled together with their manes and tails blowing in a harsh wind.

"Night!" He called rising to his hooves, "Night!"

"I'm here," brayed the black mare; she was standing next to him, "We must go to the trees soon, for winter is coming."

"Why must we go to the trees?"

"We Valley band horses cannot stand the cold winds of winter. Plus the wolf packs come out and attack us during the night."

"Very well," snorted Storm Cloud making his way up the hillside to look down on his band. Wind was clipping grass with her mussel pressed to the ground, Sky was pacing back and forth trying to keep warm. "Valley band!" he trumpeted to the horses below him, "We leave today to go to the cluster of trees at the edge of our territory!" Shaking is mane he continued, "Night, you shall lead us."

Rearing up the grey stallion thundered down the slope again and rounded his mares into a tight cluster. "Move on," he called to the black horse in the lead.

Nodding, Night took the lead and led the band out of the valley just as the first flakes of white snow began to fall.

Not long after the small band had started out, there was a bray from up front, "here do we go now?" neighed Sun as the flakes began t come harder.

"May I be of assistance?" Wind asked leaving her rank and plowing through the snow toward the from of the band. There were a few muffled voices and the band moved on.

Through the wind Storm Cloud saw Night dropping back to her old rank, "Why is it you are back here by Pepper?" he asked her.

"Wind knows the way better than I do for she is four years old whereas I am only three.

Now Storm Cloud himself was only four years as well.

Pepper's body suddenly shook violently for her fur was thinner than the other horses.

"Is Pepper ill?" asked Storm Cloud to Night.

"I don't know," Snorted Night, "You should ask her yourself."

"And what about you?" snorted Storm Cloud, "are you feeling well?"

"Yes," exclaimed Night, but seeing the shocked look on Storm Cloud's face, she whispered, "I'm fine, just tired and mad that I forgot the way to the woods and gave Wind a chance to be lead mare again."

"She will understand when she becomes lesser than you again," snorted Storm Cloud.

"If you say so," mumbled Night glumly.

Looking up, Storm Cloud saw past Night and Pepper, past Sky and Sun and Sand, to Wind. The dusty brown horse up front was plowing through the now knee high snow in front in a straight line with her neck slightly bent in determination.

Three whole hours passed without any of the band speaking, just following Wind blindly.

Then there up ahead, just ahead of them, on the horizon was the small group of trees!

Looking behind him, Storm Cloud saw a horrific sight, for there, racing through the snow came Midnight, leading a band but it was a different one than the band he had been leading the day before.

The scent of stallion wafted through his flaring nostrils and fear and anger came to him and he whinnied as loud as he could to wind to pick up the pace and run!
     
    06-09-2014, 02:14 PM
  #4
Weanling
Pretty interesting! I like it anyway! :) I used to write "animal perspective" stories too. Haven't all of us at ONE time done that? ;)
     
    06-10-2014, 02:38 PM
  #5
Yearling
Chapter Three

If he could, he would have called sons of his to him, but there were no other males in his band. It was just him, alone vs a band of fit bachelor stallions. And of course, Midnight, the large completely black horse he had faced the day before.

Spinning around he tore off through the snow after his fleeing band, catching up to them he nipped at the fleeing flanks of Night and Pepper. Speeding them up, Storm Cloud saw them disappear into the blizzard. Now he stopped alone with just a mob of war driven stallions approaching quickly.

Turning on them, he reared, showing dominance, but Midnight kept coming, Storm Cloud had although, slowed down the young stallions behind the black, for the grey was quite a great deal bigger than many of them. Confident that he had slowed down the others, Storm Cloud let out an angry scream, came down from his stand and charged straight at the large black male. Midnight didn't stop coming until they had locked in yet another battle.

The fight was long and hard as the two bucked and reared at each other; screaming and snorting the two bravely battled on, not noticing the three young male sneak past, a blue roan, a steel gray, and a palomino.

"Why are you now leading a band of loaners?" asked Storm Cloud through breaks in the fight.

"A horse named Dust came during the night and stole my band from me!" snorted Midnight madly, "Why would you care?"

"Just curious," trumpeted Storm Cloud, dodging a blow aimed at the pupil, "What is it with you and my band anyway?" asked Storm Cloud ducking as Midnight snapped at his ear. "Why can't you pick on another band for once in your life?"

"The first time," snorted Midnight roughly, "was because I wanted that white mare."

"You mean Sky." brayed Storm Cloud.

"Yes, this time is because you drove out Dust and he took over my band!"

"Such is the life of a stallion," answered Storm Cloud, bucking at Midnight.

"I despise you!" Neighed Midnight with his voice rough with anger.

"Well," bellowed Storm Cloud, "You make me sick!"

At that time, both stallions turned and bucked, both stallions made their mark, hooves met hooves and vibrations went through Storm Cloud's legs and he lost his balance.

Falling to the ground a stick landed under one of his wounds. It pierced the flesh and dug in. That tiny stick made the grey scream in agony.

Now Midnight as well had fallen but had recovered sooner and came upon Storm Cloud with a sinister look about him. "Now who wins?" sneered the black, "You lie here crippled and weak, while I tower above you," Although the words came strongly from his mouth, Storm Cloud could tell it was causing him quite a great deal of effort. Rearing above him, Storm Cloud saw hooves coming closer, and with a siege of pain, everything went black.
     
    06-16-2014, 02:25 PM
  #6
Yearling
Please post more chapters! This is SO great!!
     
    06-18-2014, 01:09 PM
  #7
Yearling
Chapter Four

Opening his eyes, Storm Cloud saw nothing but blur, but as his vision cleared, it all came flooding back to him. The fight. After the shiny black had knocked out Storm Cloud, he probably took off to find the grey's herd.

Slowly Storm Cloud made his hooves only to crumple back down to the ground. Trying again, the pain coursed through him as he wobbled around his hooves, this time he stayed up. Looking down he saw bare skin and blood drying. The snow where he had been laying had turned red. As soon as he found his footing and felt confident, he started to waver in the direction of the woods.

About an hour later he came upon a large clump of snow just outside the woods. Blowing at the largest part of the pile, Storm Cloud found it not to be a pile of snow at all! But as the snow cleared, a sleek black pelt appeared. Storm Cloud couldn't believe it! There, lying dead in front of him, was Midnight!

The dappled grey's heart jumped to his throat as he saw his enemy dead. After a few moments spent in remorse, Storm Cloud left the carcass to the wild and moved on, plowing through the snow on his way through the trees.

Lifting his face, Storm Cloud flared his nostrils and sniffed, blowing out and snuffing in, but what the air told him was that males had corrupted the band and a dead horse lay off to the left. Walking over to it, he saw the steel grey body of the male from Midnight's band. That only verified his thoughts. His herd had come here safe, but had been caught up by the male band. The male band had then fought among themselves and splitting the mares up and starting their own bands.

Then there was a scent of mare telling him that a stranger had not killed the young male, but Wind had. Another thing from the wind told him that the steel grey wasn't a stranger but his younger brother!

Rearing up, Storm Cloud let out a yell of pure heartbreak. He didn't really remember the young colt, but he did remember his name; it was Iron. Iron was now lying dead at his hooves.

"Storm Cloud?" a voice sounded behind him. It was Wind's. Flattening his ears to his head, he whirled on her bellowing with distraught, "You killed Iron!"

"Who?"

"My brother, you killed him!" hatred thundered through him, driven insane by the traumas he'd witnessed, "Why did you have to kill him?"

"I- I didn't -"

"Yes you did!" thundered Storm Cloud right into Wind's face.

"I didn't know!" bellowed Wind, "Please, Storm Cloud, I am so sorry, I would never have put you through this intentionally."

"Well you wanted to be with Dust or go be with Midnight's band, but I have killed Midnight, for he had been driven out of his band by Dust. So you wanted to be lead mare, and Dust had you as his. So go, cross the river, and be with your precious stallion." With that he lowered his head, flattening his ears to his head, raising his tail, he took up the accustomed position for snaking, and biting at Wind's flank he chased her through the woods and across the valley tot he frozen river.

"There," he brayed to her, "all you need to do is cross this and you'll be with your Dust."

"Why is it you drive me out?" asked Wind, "Please tell me."

"You hated me from the moment I set hoof in your boundaries."

"I, I, I didn't hate you," stuttered Wind, although in her head she knew this was a lie.

"Well what are you waiting for?" snorted Storm Cloud, "Leave."

"Storm Cloud, I know where your band is."

"Leave!" trumpeted Storm Cloud, "Go!"

"So you just want me to just cross the river?"

"Yes,"

"But what if I fall through?"

"You won't. You're too fast for it to break."

"Fine...if I fall?"

"You won't. Now go, get out of here now!" with an angry bawl Storm Cloud reared up and screamed at her.

Crying out with fright, Wind took a flying leap over the ice, but she hadn't judged the difference carefully enough, and with a wail of fear, she came crashing down.

Storm Cloud watched with eyes glazed over as the dust brown mare's head disappeared below the thin ice into the rushing water underneath.

A moment before he decided to run downstream, he saw a horse break cover and pelt down the other side of the bank.

Shaking the thought from his head, the grey turned and began to lope away from the river as fast as he could, as if he were running away from all his problems.

Returning to the small grove of trees, he lifted his nose, he flared his nostrils and soon picked up the scent.

Beginning to lope off he followed the scent of Sky. It took hours to find fresh tracks. By then it had stopped snowing and was getting darker, still the grey moved on.
     
    06-18-2014, 07:39 PM
  #8
Yearling
Awesome! More please!!
     
    06-19-2014, 02:46 PM
  #9
Yearling
Chapter Five

Then, there! Just up ahead, there was a medium sized blue roan stallion sniffing a pure white mare, who shied away from him with her ears flat, and there, just behind her, was Sun! There was just the two mares. This would be easy for him to get them back.

He began to quietly walk toward the small band. The stallion scented him when the grey was five horselengths away. Letting out an angry scream the blue roan charged at the grey. Storm Cloud reared at him with an angry brawl.

Sky and Sun pricked their ears at the sight of their old stallion.

But the blue roan bawled as they met, "I am Blue, leader of the Tree herd! You are a loan stallion, nothing more, nothing less!"

It was then that Storm Cloud saw the black line that encircled Blue's right eye. So he addressed him saying, "What is the mark on your eye? It could be determined as a sign of the tamers. There is nothing more horrific than to have let a tamer sit on your back and control your movements."

This statement only angered Ble more, and with a cry of fury, Blue only fought harder.

The fight was short lived as the much larger grey triumphed over the adolescent and won Sky and Sun.

With an angry snort, Storm Cloud chased the defeated Blue away.

"I, at last, have you back!" he brayed to Sky and Sun who came up to him and nuzzled him lovingly.

"Please, tell us, where is Wind?" murmured Sky quietly, "Is she with that steal grey?"

"No, whispered Sun, "We saw him die at her hooves, remember?"

"A shiver went up Sky's spine as she thought back to the previous hours.

"Now," commented Storm Cloud smartly, "Before I ask you to tell me your story, Iron is dead, yes." he was interrupted by Sun.

"Iron, who is he?"

"My brother, the steal grey."

"Oh," Sun's words were choked with sorrow, "I am so sorry. When you find Wind, she will have to be punished."

"I already have disciplined her," he neighed, plowing through the snow, "She is no longer a member of the valley band."

By now it was quite dark so Storm Cloud called to his mares saying, "Now lay in the snow next to me, for it I slate and we must rest."

"What of Night?" Asked Sky timidly, "And the others?"

"They will be safe for one night with another male." answered Storm Cloud reassuringly.

"If you are sure." sighed Sky, "Goodnight." She closed her eyes and her breaths of air became softer and more relaxed as she drifted off to sleep.

Turning to Sun, he asked the buckskin, "Who is this Blue?"

"He was a tammer's carrier, but then his tammer's tribe was killed off, and he left. He is only two years old." With a blink she added, "I am three years old, and my foal, by Dust," she sighed, "is Cliff, for he was born on a cliff and he was the same color. Be kind to him when you fight tomorrow."

A stunned silence greeted her words, "Do you mean to tell me that your son is that palomino?" questioned Storm Cloud after a moment's pause.

"Yes."

"I shall go easily on him."

"He can only fight his own size, please, call me a tammer's catch, but I would like to see him again."

"I was driven out when I turned three" muttered the gray. "I know what to do." he whispered to the golden horse next to him, "Good night."

Dawn came and the knee high snow stopped. "Wake up, Storm Cloud," came a loud bray.

Looking up, he saw Sky's face in front of his with her eyes brightly shining, "I have scented Night!"

Hearing this, the great male rose to his hooves, and neighed to Sky, "Lead the way!"

With a flick of her ears, Sky lunged through the snow; the white mare lept over large mounds of snow, traveling farther and farther away.

Around three hours later, Storm Cloud found fresh tracks, taking the lead, he bolted down the trail and came upon a hillside. On the hillside, staring down, was a medium sized palomino.

Turning to Sun, Storm Cloud called to her, whispering, "Go to him, for he is your son. Distract him while Sky and I take Night and the others away."

Nodding, Sun loped toward her son. There was a brief pause and a few words shared before Cliff nuzzled his mother and led her off to tell her of his life.

"Now!" trumpeted Storm Cloud as soon as the two horses disappeared over a hill.

Rounding up Night, Sand, and Pepper was very easy. He then put Night in charge and left to find Sun and her son Cliff.

He found Cliff pelting toward him, but the young colt skidded to a halt in front of the four year old, with his sides heaving, "Le-leave my bad a-a-alone!"

"Cliff," neighed Storm Cloud gently at the sight of Sun coming up next to her son.

"How do you know m-my name?"

"Calm down," brayed Storm Cloud, "you were too young to fend for yourself when Dust drove you out."

"No! Maybe. No! Yes..." he sighed, "but who told you?"

"I am Storm Cloud, leader of Valley band. Cliff, come back to my herd, be a member of it. I will teach you how to be a successful herd stallion."

"So," commented Cliff sullenly, "This is only to my benefit? There has to be a catch."

"Actually, there is." answered Storm Cloud, "You will help me defend the band from rival stallions."

"In that case," answered Cliff smartly, "I accept your offer."

"Glad to hear it," brayed Storm Cloud, "I shall tell you of the order here. Night, the black, is the lead mare. Your mother and Sand flank her. Flanking them on the inside is Sky. Pepper flanks Sky. And since you are two, you and I shall walk together getting to know each other better."
     

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