Based on a true story
Before I had Poppy, my life seemed pretty good, now I have her, and my life seems perfect.
It was six o’clock in the morning, and the dim light was struggling to shine in through my shut curtains.
I sat up in bed and began to stroke my cat. My heart skipped a beat as I realised what today was, and I chucked the sheets off the bed taking the cat with it.
I chucked my nightgown off and rushed to put my favourite jeans and dirty tee on and rushed down the stairs taking two at a time.
Mum was already in the kitchen with dad drinking coffee.
I tapped my fingers on the bench, I was impatient, but how could I help it? Who wouldn’t be impatient after their dad had promised to take them to the horse sales?
Dad finally noticed I was there.
“Go put your coat and sneakers on, and wait at the van, I’ll meet you there.”
I ran to the door grabbing my things on the way.
As I put my graffitied sneakers on, and held the coat over my arm, I leant against the car, thinking up my dream horse. A chestnut warmblood, only at the sales because the previous owners couldn’t look after it; or perhaps a silver Arabian mare, high spirited and young.
I kept on thinking up imaginary horses as dad drove out of town, to where we would find horses, hundreds of them.
As I opened the car door my dreams where quickly crushed, for I didn’t see and majestic Arabians or perfect warmbloods, Just hundreds of horses, with protruding ribs and too-long hooves. Just the sight of them all made my throat begin to choke up.
Dad didn’t seem too fazed by the sight of them all though so I followed him, and together we looked at all the horses and ponies, all of them begging to be loved.
Dad let me walk around by my self and as I looked through all the horses and ponies, one caught my eye.
A small dark grey pony with a matted tail and mud stuck thickly to her wobbly knees.
I wasn’t sure why, but for some reason, I immediately loved this pony, it might have been because of her sweet chocolate brown eyes or the way her head bobbed when she was trying to whinny.
What ever the reason, I was in love, and stayed with the grubby pony until the auction began.
I ran over to the horse with the sticker on its hindquarter labelled with a one, where a heavy crowd were closing in. I tried and successfully found my dad and went to stand next to him.
I could see the horse was an old thoroughbred mare, perhaps a great champion back in the day, but now just an old bag of bones; although I didn’t want to admit it to myself, I knew the only fate for this horse.
The auctioneer started the bid at $50, and after a long silence, someone put their hand up, I immediately realised who had put his hand up as soon as I saw the cap and shirt, labelled on the back was a logo stating ‘Tim’s slaughter house.’
There was only one more bid after that, another slaughter house.
After the auctioneer called the word “SOLD” I knew that would be the last time anyone would ever see that mare. By tomorrow, there wouldn’t be any more of her.
More and more horses went by, some going to real homes, some going to slaughter houses, and after each horse I got closer to my little pony. At the last horse before my favourite, I whispered to my dad. “She doesn’t belong here,” I whispered, pointing to the little grey.
Dad saw where I was pointing and whispered back “I agree,” and gave a smile.
My heart began to pump as the auctioneer began to talk about the pony.
My heart was pounding so fast and so loud I only barely heard that my little pony was a mare.
“We’ll start the bidding at say $75,” The auctioneer’s voice boomed out.
I didn’t put my hand up. No one did.
“Come on boys, there’s a fair bit of meat on this one,” he said, pointing to her large stomach.
How dare he say that about my mare!! I thrust my hand up, making sure he saw.
Another man, from the slaughter house, put his hand up too. And then I realised I had to continue on, I couldn’t let her die.
I put my hand up once more, and as another slaughter house man was about to put his hand up dad went over to him and said, “listen, my daughter wants this mare really bad, she would love her and look after her, you just want her so you can kill her, let her have it.”
There was a deadly silence as the entire group stared wide eyed at my dad.
“SOLD, to the little girl with the terrifying father,” the auctioneer smiled with a twinkle in his eye.
I couldn’t believe it, the mare was mine, all mine!
The group moved on leaving me, dad and my little mare behind.
My eyes started to sting as I tried unsuccessfully to hold back tears; slowly they fell down my cheek.
Dad hugged me, “congratulations little miss horse owner,” He said playfully.
At that instant, the mare stretched her scruffy neck out to us and licked my hand.
I knew at that moment she loved me as much as I loved her, perhaps she knew that fate that would have come to her if it wasn’t for me.
Dad ran to the van to grab a lead while I stroked her matted mane.
When he came back I clipped the lead on and lead her out to the van, dad opened the float door for us and I led her in, and surprisingly she went right in.
I tied her up and as dad closed the back door I kissed her muzzle, “I promise, you will never have any more misery again. You will always be loved now, until the day you die,” and with that I slowly slipped out the front door and stepped into the front seat of the van.
“You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you,” dad smiled. “But I know you can do it.”
And with that, we drove off, back home.