Hoofbeats In Heaven
In Praise Of The Horse

Tribute To The Human/Equine Bond

I See Only Your Heart
Nancy B. Marshall

A person got lost and afraid. Not knowing what to do, he sat down, folded his arms around his legs and tucked his head down. Fear covered him like a dark, cold blanket. Slowly a shell, like a seed covering, grew around the person folded up inside. But as hard as the seed was, the person inside still felt afraid and lost and cold. The person began to grow tired and cramped inside the seed, but the seed shell had grown so hard and thick it could not be broken open. The person inside shivered and frost appeared on the outside of the seed.

A horse came by and saw the large frosty seed glittering in the sun. Horse was curious, and came closer, and put out its nose to sniff the hard seed. The horse´s breath was warm and melted the frost. The horse breathed again and the shell began to thaw and fall away. Inside was the folded-up person, blinking in the sudden light, not moving.

"Why don´t you unfold?" asked the horse.

"I have been cramped so long I forgot how to use my legs. I am small and weak." the person replied.

Horse said, "I am large and strong. I will carry you."

"I can hardly breath." said the person.

Horse said, "I will hold you up to drink the wind."

"I must be bad", said the person, "I displease others."

Horse said, "You please me with your voice and with the touch of your hand gentle on my neck."

"I am ugly."

Horse said, "I see only your heart."

"I am afraid."

Horse said, "I trust you."

"I have nothing to offer," said the person. "I am stupid."

Horse said, "Scratch my back. Talk to me. Take the stone from my hoof, and show me the good grass. These are precious gifts to me. You know how to free my foot from the fence and brush the straw from my eye. When you come it means relief from these troubles. You have much power and wisdom."

"I cry, I am ashamed," said the person.

Horse said, "When you are with me I am content, and I will stand with you while you cry."

As they talked the person had begun to unfold, reach out an arm to the horse and slowly stand beside it. The person smoothed the horse's mane and the horse nosed the person's hand. Horse breath chased the last cold from the person's fingers. Without speaking, they moved on from there together.

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