little miracle [story]
It was still dark out when Summer sprang out of bed, eager for the day to start.
Breakfast was a meal she often skipped, not because she wanted to be thinner, but because she couldn't bear to stay inside after sunrise. The 19-year-old could feel that the darkness was starting to lift, though it was still too dark to be called dawn yet.
Summer gasped when her bare feet hit the freezing tiles of her en-suite bathroom. The cold was a shock after her lovely warm bed, complete with electric blanket. She showered and dressed quickly and ran to the kitchen to grab an apple each for herself and her horse, a palomino quarter horse mare she had named Banana.
Rushing outside, Summer called out to her horse. "Nana, darling!"
The mare came galloping over the hill, seemingly unimpeded by her enormous, heavily pregnant belly. Banana was in foal to Summer's friend's big Thoroughbred stallion, a bay with a proven record of producing spectacular performers to many different types of mares. Quietly, Summer hoped for a buckskin foal, but this foal was for her mom, and Summer would find it too hard to let go if it was buckskin. Her first foal, bred from her old horse, had been a buckskin, but it had died before it was even a month old, and the mare hadn't lived much longer.
Secretly, Summer was terrified that she was going to lose Banana too, but her mom wanted a foal and Summer really didn't need to fight with her mom over which weanling was quality and which one to avoid.
Banana refused her apple, even when Summer bit into the other one. That was very unusual. The palomino mare looked uneasy, perhaps even irritated, and in the past couple of days, Summer had noticed most of the signs of an impending foaling. Nana's foal was due any day now. Perhaps even right away.
Summer watched as the muscular golden mare swung around to bite her flank, but couldn't reach. The sun was just barely touching the horizon off to the east. Banana dropped to the ground as if to roll just as the sunlight tinged the world red, but didn't roll, and instead gave an almighty push.
It was starting. Summer patted her pockets for her cell phone, and smiled when she found it. If Banana needed a vet, the vet could be contacted easily, and Summer wouldn't have to leave.
"Come on, gorgeous. You can do it."
I love it keep on writing!
Summer knew, from the first foal, that the sack the foal was in was meant to be white. This time, it wasn't - it was what was known as a 'red bag' delivery. She knew what had to be done and she knew that even if the rest of the birth went well, she would have to call the vet to do tests and make sure that the foal was ok.
A red bag delivery was when the placenta came out first, and it had to be broken open. It was way too tough for fingernails to rip, but thankfully Summer kept a foaling kit not far away, and in that kit, there were sharpened pop-sticks. She ran to it, dialling her vet's number as she went, and grabbed some of the pop-sticks, and a pair of scissors if the sticks didn't work.
As soon as the vet picked up, Summer blurted, "Emergency. My mare's foaling, it's a red bag birth."
"Do you know what to do?" the vet asked urgently.
"Yeah, I've just got the scissors and stuff out of my foaling kit. The reason I'm calling is because the foal might be weak and I want to have a vet here just in case."
"I'm on my way."
Summer's vet was also a good friend of her family so he knew her voice and he knew where to come. Summer smiled despite the sense of urgency.
"Thanks, I really appreciate it," she said as she used one of the pop-sticks to break open the bag so the foal could breathe. She could see two perfect little hooves, one white and the other black.
For the next ten minutes, Summer pulled while Banana pushed, and together, mare and owner got the foal out past its shoulders. It was big, for a newborn, and Summer could now tell that it had a blaze and one white stocking on its left foreleg. It was a creamy kind of colour and its coloured foreleg was sort of silver. That was telling - it meant that the leg would be dark.
"A little buckskin, Banana," Summer said. "Good girl."
The vet arrived about then, parked his pickup, and strode briskly over. "How's she going?"
"Almost there," Summer said to the vet, then turned to Banana again, "Come on, gorgeous, you can do it."
Banana gave one last tremendous push, and the foal tumbled out, struggling weakly. That was a bad sign. Summer got out of the way so Banana could get up and clean her baby.
"It's weak," she said.
"He'll make it," Jaden, the vet, assured her. "Banana's a good momma."
Summer looked at the foal again and saw that it was a colt. A perfect buckskin colt. "He better."
"I'll just take some blood to test and give him a few things that will make him stronger. He'll be fine, Summer. It'll be hard, but he'll make it. See the fight in his eyes?"
Summer nodded. There was a kind of spirit in those big brown eyes, the sort of spirit that all the best horses had. He was a battler, that colt. Still, she knew the next few days would be touch and go, and there was a high chance that he might not make it.
aww cuute! I can just imagine what that colt would look like!! Great description :) can't wait to hear more if you're still writing ;)
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."
I love this story!
More ! I love it ! :D
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ohh keep it coming its so good!!
Keep going! It's very good :-)
I don't know how believable it is :\ I've never even bred my own foal, let alone had a red bag, so I don't know THAT much about this kind of stuff. But hey, I'm having fun writing it, so I'll keep going :) Just not tonight, it's 10pm here and I have to be up in the morning so can't stay on the computer all night writing.
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