On the day the mist laid gently across the ground a mare turned her stall. Settling in a corner with a soft grunt and a few heavy breaths while her owners paced patiently outside. Swirls of cool breeze brought in through the window of the barn caught against her as she gave that final push. A nicker, low in her throat, as her filly slipped onto the soft straw padded floor. With a gentle wag of her head the filly puffed out a soggy sigh. Here I am, she nickered back. And for that the mare was glad. After eleven months she'd finally given her owners her last foal. Her retirement was in due time.
Her coat was the color of the darkest night, giving contrast to her one back stockings and a blaze that gave her a blue eye. The foal they'd wanted and waited for. She was a prize. Her bloodlines had been hand picked for many generations. The foals from her sire were above promising and her dame had produced champions. She was gifted with the name Milady Moreover. And it took her exactly thirty two minutes to get up on her dainty little rubber tipped hooves. Milady stretched her lovely neck as she stumbled over to her mother. Nursing for the first time in her life. There was something about that filly. Like she'd already done it all.
The day the mare's halter was attached to a lead rope and that stall door was thrown open was a fine one. For Milady it was one of the best she'd seen so far. Because now there was this big new world. And she had these long beautiful legs that she was dying to use. Her mother took a few steps out, blinking against the change of light as they walked down the aisle. Milady took the moment to investigate her surroundings. Rearing up on her hind legs against her dame so she could see the horses in the neighboring stall. Her shrill little neigh echoing through the large metal barn. But if she thought the sites in the aisle way were amazing... she paused coming out of the big sliding doors. Ears forward, neck arched. Green grass, white fences. Even the texture change from barn to gravel was enough to make her wonder. Reaching her little neck down she politely sniffed the ground, nearly tumbling onto her cute little face. Startling at the sight of her shadow against the white ground she flared her nostrils and puffed out an indignant snort. Sidling over to her mother's side.
The mare patiently ignored her as the stable hand led them to the paddock. Unclipping Madame and shutting the gate behind the two. What was this green stuff that seemed to cover every inch of surface? Milady had to know. First she pawed at it. Striking out a hoof, putting her delicate ears back as it struck the hard surface. That wasn't very nice of it. Shaking her head she wearily watched her shadow as she reached down to sniff it. Turning her attention almost immediately to her dame who had taken to eating it. Picking her head up she walked over to figure out what exactly she was doing. But then quickly lost interest since it had nothing to do with milk. The sun was setting and a few birds flew by.... but being outside didn't worry her as much anymore. She nursed and yawned. Finding a comfortable spot near her mother to curl up for a nap. She was sure everything would be the same when she woke up.
Months passed, as they always will, summer turned to fall and fall to winter... and Milady would spend her last few days with her mother now. She was shockingly tall, standing next to her in her new blue blanket. Her nature was neither really calm or flighty, but yet she'd exhibit them both sometimes just to throw her handler off. The hands had to feed her dame seperately from her because she'd push her mother away and eat her oats and then her own out of the creeper. So it was decided that Friday morning that it was time to separate Milady from Madame. They let them out in the field one last time in hopes of exhausting the filly. As she pranced around the paddock, exhibiting her natural ability to show off. Already she enamored visitors. Who stopped to watch her, ask about her... Was she for sale? Of course not... at least not yet.
When at last it was time for the horses to be fed they would pull Milady in, as they always did. But this time Madame wouldn't be in to follow her. And since they'd fed them this way for awhile now Milady did not become worried at first. She simply waited. Taking her afternoon nap. Stretched out across the stall and then eventually standing. Head low, lower lip sagging just a little. She looked very much the normal little filly just then. That is until she heard a distant neigh. Flicking an ear she slowly opened her eyes. Looking around herself to figure out just what wasn't right. She lifted her head suddenly. Her eyes growing worried as she moved across the stall. Letting out a call of her own she suddenly felt more alone than she ever had been. Trotting now, back and forth as she frantically called out. A rear got her leg caught over the water bucket. She pulled it out without stopping, kicking at the walls in frustration. Why was she in here? And her mother was not? Surely they had forgotten to bring her in! Right now life was very unfair to this pretty little filly. Whose only worry was where she would get her milk now that her mother wasn't there.
Surprisingly it would take nearly a week to get the filly to stop her pleading. She had suddenly become hard to work with. When they tried to lead her in with the other foals she refused them. Wanting no part in being turned out, she'd plant her back legs into the ground and come up. Which would earn her a sharp tug from her leader. Turning around in a circle, she truly didn't want to harm the person. She just wanted her dame. The security of their private paddock. And when she saw those other foals, she'd much rather have the security of her stall. After she was tugged into the field with the other foals she was at first ignored. They had more important things to do. But the curiosity got the better of them and she was crowded by them all. Which did not please the little filly at all. She pinned her ears and bit out at them. Showing them who was boss. But what she did was earn herself space. And a lot of it. It'd take awhile before the others would want to be a part of her group, letting her take the role of their leader.
Milady would settle into life after that. Eating when she was given food and drinking when she pleased. She tore her blanket and was given a new one, which she quickly outgrew. The tree in the weanling field was the point of interest for her. She rubbed it, chewed it, reared up at it. Which would cause a chain reaction for the others. And soon they were all chewing, rubbing and rearing. Then chasing around the field like their tails were on fire, sliding in the slick snow. Which would eventually earn one of their playmates three months in his stall. But Milady never really did pay attention to him, so she was none the wiser.
As the snow melted and the sun shown longer across the sky things started to change. Milady's short winter coat shed out to show off just how strikingly beautiful she was. Taller and leaner than the other foals she was again the topic of conversation. In which it was always noted that no she was not for sale. She was their prize. The one that dashed across the field ahead of the others when it was time to eat. She was the one that moved across the ground with such an air about her you'd think she'd been born famous. And she might very well have been.