After work that day, Summer jumped out of her car, running towards the paddock. She had been distracted all day worrying about Banana and the colt.
The big buckskin foal didn't have a name yet - Summer and her mom had decided not to name him until he was out of the woods. If he had a name, they would get attached, and be all the more upset if he didn't make it. Summer didn't like thinking that way, but with a red bag foal, it was necessary.
The vet was standing by the gate, smiling. "Hey, Summer. I got the results from the blood test. Looks good, but keep an eye on him, just in case. He got a name yet?"
Summer shook her head no. "Mom and I decided not to name him just yet. Just in case. After what happened with Scotch..."
Scotch was the first foal Summer had bred, from her bay mare Trinity by a perlino stallion - bred specifically so he would be buckskin, named Butterscotch for his perfect creamy golden colour. The name Butterscotch had been shortened to Scotch to make sure he sounded like a colt rather than a filly. It was complications from the gelding procedure that had killed Scotch, and Trinity had died from colic not that long after. Jaden had been out of town at the time, attending some big vets' conference on the other side of the country.
This colt was a different shade of buckskin, darker and more golden, and had a lot more white - a blaze and three stockings, plus a belly splash. He was steady on his feet already, but a little sluggish in his movements. Test results, perfect as they may be, were not enough to ease Summer's concern.
"After what happened with Scotch," Jaden noted, "you'd think that this little guy would have been textbook. It's hardly fair."
"Some breeders can breed for years without a single red bag," Summer said with a sigh. "And the same goes for gelding-gone-wrong. You're right, it's not fair, but what can I do? More than I already have, I mean."
"Nothing," Jaden replied. "You did everything right. This time around, and with Scotch. Sometimes, these things just go pear shaped."
Summer felt a little bit better after Jaden's assurance. None of it was her fault, none of it was anything to do with the care she gave her horse. "So you think he's going to make it?"
"I know he is," Jaden reassured her for the tenth time. "He's real strong for a red bag. I've seen weaker foals pull through, and he's a real fighter. It's their spirit that defines them."
Almost exactly twelve hours later, Summer woke with the strong feeling that something was not how it was supposed to be. She dressed all in a rush, shoved her feet into her boots, and ran out the door, through the gate, then into the pasture.
"Banana!" she called, eyes scanning for her golden mare and the perfect buckskin colt. "Peppermints!"
The mare called out, and Summer's scanning eyes found her, but she stood completely still at the other end of the pasture. There was a small golden shape at her feet.
"Oh, no," Summer murmured, lurching back into a sprint. "Get up, little one."
The perfect colt lifted his head and whinnied weakly, before slumping back to the ground.
Summer's fingers fumbled over the buttons of her cell as she frantically dialled Jaden's emergency number.
"What's wrong, Summer?" Jaden's friendly voice greeted her.
"The colt's down. He's weak. Hurry!"
Summer dived to the ground by the foal's head, stroking his perfect pink muzzle. "Come on, little guy."
Last edited by blue eyed pony; 08-08-2011 at 05:34 AM.