KASZTAN and MAŁY
Updated on 11/18/2021
Kasztan and Mały are safe!
We kept our promise to them. We paid the debt to the Biały. Kasztan and the Mały one are safe now. They are already with us, safe and taken care of, they rest in a cozy box after the hardships of the journey. Here they will get the best veterinary and blacksmith care. Here they will be able to live peacefully and they will be loved as they are. They will always be the most beautiful in our eyes.
Thank you! We thank you a hundred times on their behalf. Thank you for giving them a second life.
A village somewhere in upper silesia. A village like many in the area. A place that the world has forgotten. Not that it was forgoten so completely. But the world forgot to pour any life in here. You certainly wouldn’t come here on vacation. Not even for the weekend. Trees gloomily bend their bald boughs over asphalt roads and field paths. Nobody sweeps away the leaves, which are thick with gold and red in the paths. Sometimes only the wind blows them up and carries them away. We pass such gold red swirls as we take the last turn. A small cowshed, which we already know, looms in front of us. We’ve been here not too long ago. More than once. We took Czesia from here. We said the last farewell to Biały here. We promised something to Kasztan and Mały. We promised them that we would return soon to this forgotten village.
And we came back. And they waited intensely, staring at the opening and closing of the barn door, mesmerized. Because where were they supposed to go? And even if they had anywhere, no one would let them out of here. Maybe these horses are not worth millions. An old Kasztan, exploited by life and service. He is well over 20 years old. Bones and few muscles are covered with skin. And next to him Mały, a small pony reaching up to his tail. Brave, pugnacious, but crippled – a cripple who mostly stands and looks at you, because if he moves, he can fall over. And they stand together waiting for a miracle. Because – let’s agree – nobody in this world would want them. Because this world always wants “something for something.” To earn money on such a horse, or at least to be able to ride it. And it is impossible to exploit those two any longer. Believe me, nothing will come out of them. Man has already squeezed out everything that he could. And even a little more. And they gave what they could.
Kasztan worked somewhere in recreation, took people around on his back. He worked a bit in the field. He’s not made for the job, but as he was the only horse on the farm, he did whatever his man told him to do. And the little pony? Mały was a mascot, but the children grew up and went out into the world. And Mały has become redundant, like piles of children’s toys on shelves that collect dust for years but parents do not throw them away out of sentiment. But no one had any sentiment towards Mały. Because this sentiment would cost a bit. When it turned out that there was a problem with his leg and Mały was limping a lot, the family quickly got rid of all doubts – the pony swiftly went, where all good memories disappear, and the future is not mentioned. Because the future prospects do not exist there. He stood here, next to his friend Kasztan. Because they are better together. Even to their deaths.
Perhaps you recognize this place. Recently, thanks to you, we took Czesia away from here. We also almost took the old Biały, who, however, decided, just at the end, to finish his journey. And he said goodbye to us. He said goodbye to us surrounded by these leaves, which swirl among forest paths forgotten by the world. He said goodbye to us in a place where no one would have chosen. He didn’t choose that either. After years of service in the forest, his master chose this place. The last stop before you say goodbye to everything you know.
When we were taking Czesia and saying goodbye to the old Biały, Kasztan’s big dark eyes looked pleadingly. Beside him, a small white pony with a swollen leg fidgeted on its rope, stretching its neck towards us and snorting softly. These horses just saw us through the ajar door of the tiny barn, which was their home, just like that for a moment. Every time the wind closed the door, Kasztan stretched his neck as far as he could and nudged the door with his head – so he could be sure they don’t disappear behind it. They thought perhaps that when they disappear from our sight, they are already dead to this world. We were then their only chance, their miracle.
Back then we tried to buy at least one . From money for Biały who did not live to be saved. But the trader firmly ruled that if he had known that it would be like that, as soon as Biały lay down at dawn that day, he would have taken him lying down for slaughter. He ordered us to pay for Biały, according to the agreement. We had to do that too. And thus leave the old Kasztan there, in this forgotten village, among the swirling leaves and bending branches of trees. Just like a little white pony cuddled up against him like a promise of salvation. He rarely visits such places, at the end of the world.
We left with a torn heart. Because such a place can tear it apart from the inside. Especially if you leave those eyes beseeching you there. We came back full of hope that they were still there, and still knocking the door of the barn they look for us with the last remnants of hope in those wonderful eyes.
They stood as we left them. Cuddled up to each other. Staring at the dajar door. They were standing in their tiny, dingy barn. Among the swirling leaves, among forest paths that lead nowhere, among the bending November boughs of trees. They faithfully waited for us. And they survived.
We were given time until November 10th to collect both of them. Until next Wednesday. We can’t do it without you. Without you, these swirls of leaves will soon lead them to a steep gangway, where together, hoof by hoof, they will come in, chased by the cold November wind and the whip. And they will go, not far away at all. Wherever they go, the wind will once again dance its leaves outside the window for them as they proudly walk their last meters down the narrow corridor. For no one will say goodbye to them except the leaves and the wind. Such is the fate of horses from such places.
Kasztan and Mały can find their way to hundreds of saved horses. They can have their miracle. Because a miracle does not choose by color or origin, nor does it prefer youth. A miracle is equal for everyone. Only somehow it will not happen to everyone.
Please, open wider the door to the dingy cowshed with me. Let’s take Kasztan and Mały together where the leaves spin differently, where everything is teeming with life.
One day the last breath will find them anyway and close their eyes. Like all of us. But not yet, let’s just give them a moment. A moment before it gets dark and quiet around. A moment that they will miss galloping over the sky someday.
We have to collect 8,800 zlotys (2203 USD) on November 17th to pay off the lives of Kasztan and Mały, and to pay for their transport to us. Please join us, stand with us today in this village, at the end of the world. And let’s get them out of there. Before it’s too late for anything.