The human that seems to be “ours” is acting strange. The scent of something hangs about her. It is not fear but it is close to it. I am not certain what is going on but I watch as people come and go. A few days ago a small one was born. She whinnied and I responded. I do not know where the little one is but I let her know I am watching over her. That same morning strange humans came to the farm. They took photos and whispered to each other. I didn’t like the way they moved around the facility. They seemed to dislike our corrals but I could smell water near by and the mud that was in our paddocks seemed to dry when we had a few days of sunshine. I kept away from those humans and I tried to keep Ruger from them as well.
Two of the mares that came with us were pregnant. They all had separate corrals but the gray mare was closest to us and in mud that was slow to dry. The human who seemed to worry the most worried about the gray mare. Other humans that were at the farm seemed to ignore what the alpha humans said. The other humans would sit around and complain about the alpha human. One rainy day when none of the other humans were around a truck and a trailer came. I finally figured out what the humans called those things. Two humans appeared out of the trailer and they opened the back of the trailer. The mare the alpha human called Magpie was guided onto the trailer. They left and the two other mares watched as did I and Ruger. The gray mare was guided through a short channel to the paddock that Magpie had been in. The rain kept on coming and I would go in the wooden shelter that was in our corral only if hay was put in it. After a little while the truck and trailer returned. This time the gray mare was guided onto the trailer. She was close to having her baby and it seemed the alpha human was worried about her. It’d been three weeks since we got off the trailer and we still didn’t trust the green things the humans put down for us.
The next day after the two mares left the alpha human brought out the green things. In the green things was something that smelled familiar. Ruger went for the bucket and I waited until the human stepped away then I pushed Ruger out of the way to taste what was in the green thing. The food was delicious. It tasted of home and of something else. Something that was round and slightly crunchy. I ate every bite of that food and wondered why they humans were giving us such delicious food. They also made sure we had fresh water. They would drag a long black snake and the snake would spit water into a small black puddle that seemed to stay in place. It was similar to what we drank out of when we were at the place before our journey. Life here was strange and familiar. I watched as the humans approached and seemed to connect to the strange horses. The horses that wore weird things on their faces. Those horses also seemed to want the attention of the humans. When the humans would come to look at us those other horses would try and get the attention of the humans.
A few weeks after the two mares left another trailer showed up. This time the alpha human wasn’t here. There were two other human females here and they smelled of something I didn’t like. Deception and deceit. The little one and her mom were led out of their corral. I watched as they were led. Something wasn’t right. This wasn’t like last time. I wondered if the alpha human knew what was happening. Ruger and I watched as the little one and her mom were put into the trailer. I didn’t like the two humans that took the two horses away. I didn’t like the human that drove the loud truck that belched smoke. She was afraid of us. She would throw hay and then sit around. I sensed that the alpha human wouldn’t like what was happening while she was gone.
A few hours later the alpha human returned and she was upset. I could sense the unrest in her movement and her voice sounded different. A male human in uniform came in a car and spoke to the alpha human as well as the other humans that smelled of deception. They sounded like they were upset but they didn’t smell like they were sad. They smelled like they were trying to hide something. There was so much going on but I only caught a few sentences “It’s going to cost me more money to fight this than I can set aside. I don’t have enough time to deal with this and work full time and run a farm. I feel betrayed. I can’t believe this happened. Well, I just can’t even right now.”
The alpha human was distracted and she seemed like she was beaten. Her eyes looked like she was giving up. It was the same look that I had seen in the eyes of my herd members when we were loaded onto the metal caves that took us away from our pasture land. The alpha human’s name was Felicia. It was a strange word. A word I didn’t understand but it seemed to be her label. The same as she labelled me Hank and Ruger, Ruger and Lark, Lark.
Ruger was put in a paddock that was away from me. He seemed to enjoy the humans and looked for their attention. I tried to tell him not to interact with them but gave up. It seemed that Felicia and I were uncertain of what was going on. As always, I kept watch. I was certain more was to happen but I didn’t know when or how it would change. This life was very different from my old one. I had to think more and react less. My survival wasn’t based on whether or not I could find water and pasture to eat but on how I understood humans and how I understood what they said. They were predators after all and I was certain that I would have to protect my herd from them at some point.