7. Chapter 7
I soon arrive at my destination, and notice a lovely child in the yard. It is a little girl, with long blonde hair and graceful movements. She sees me, and child like runs up to me smiling, ‘You’re the guy Bronwyn told me about.’ She frowns slightly, ‘I can’t remember your name’, she says.
‘My name little lady, is Maglor.’ I kneel down to be closer to her in height. ‘If I am to have the pleasure of your company, I would like to know your name’.
‘Maglor, that’s it’, she says delighted. ‘A funny name’, she says staring at me, and then suddenly answered my question. ‘Nicole’ she says. When I look puzzled she laughs and says, ‘my name, silly, it’s Nicole’.
‘Well then, Nicole, what were you doing before my arrival interrupted you’, I say to her, smiling. She is a very beautiful child, almost elf like in her appearance. Even lovelier is her friendly manner.
‘Going to see the horses’ she says
‘Your horses?’ I ask
‘No, Bronwyn’s. But she lets me ride them’ Nicole says.
‘May I come with you? I have not had contact with a horse for years’, I say,
‘Poor thing, no horses’, giggles Nicole. ‘Ok, I guess Bron won’t mind’
I put my things on the veranda, and Nicole grabs my hand and all but drags me down to the fields where several horses are grazing. I see two bay mares with foals at foot, and a bay pony, a palomino pony, a chestnut, a black and another bay horse in other fields.
‘Are you riding today, Nicole?’ I say
‘Not now. Just checking them and feeding the mares and foals, and the two fillies’, she says pointing at the black and the chestnut horses, in a field by themselves.
‘Can I help?’ I ask
‘Sure, if you like. You can help me carry the hay’, she says.
We give the mares some grain in long trough, and I notice both foals are colts, and remark on this.
‘These horses are a very rare breed. I think Bron is planning to keep the bay for herself, and some other people want the chestnut for breeding, I think’, Nicole answers.
‘They are very friendly’, I remark, having sniffed and licked by both young horses. The mothers seem more concerned with their grain.
Then hay is given to the other horses. The little fillies seem very frightened, and Nicole explains that these two were wild only a few weeks ago.
‘I’m not supposed to go in this paddock without a grown up as these two could be dangerous. But you’re here, Maglor, so do you think we could go in? Last time, the black one, Stormy, almost let me touch her’, Nicole said.
‘I think so’, I replied to my young friend. ‘I used to be counted a good horseman, and all my people are good with all sorts of animals.’
‘Ok, then’ Nicole replies enthusiastically.
We spend an hour talking to the young horses. Nicole was both delighted and astonished when both horses would do nearly anything I wanted. Of course, this was not really difficult to achieve, the animals were scared, but once I was able to communicate with them, they settled and soon realised we were not dangerous. Both fillies allowed themselves to be patted and handled all over, and then we fed them as a reward.
By now, I feel that Nicole is relaxed enough around to ask her a question I have hesitated to ask Bronwyn.
‘Nicole, I would ask you something, if you do not mind’
‘What’, she says, turning to look at me from where she has been leaning on the fence.
‘Well, it is something I do not want to ask Bronwyn, and I thought you might help me’, I say.
‘What is it? I will help you if I can’, sshe says.
‘I saw a picture of Bronwyn on a lovely chestnut horse, and in front of her across the saddle she is holding a little girl that looks like her. Can you tell who the girl is?’ I ask
‘Yes’, says Nicole, a look of great sadness on her little face, ‘she was my best friend’.