Gray Kruszka looks at me kindly through the bars. As if she wanted to say that I should not be afraid, that I am not in danger here. Because only horses are slaughtered here. And she, Kruszka, has known it since she passed the huge wooden barn gates and since the rope halter was tightened ruthlessly on her head. She knows she came here to die.

She is so huge that the trader is afraid to enter. He says it’s evil incarnate. They toss her everything over the bars with pitchforks. And if she gets too close, there’s a thong whip up his sleeve that cuts the kruszka and her heart. Then the mighty Kruszka retreats against the wall, her massive body trembles and her eyes fill with terror. Because cut skin hurts, especially when the thong reaches the horse’s ears. And the whip does not look when it hits Kruszka. It doesn’t care.


I stroke Kruszka over the warm, moist nostrils and I look into her enormous eyes more and more boldly. And in them, as if all life had stopped. What she saw and what she experienced, a cocktail of despair, joy and hope, which every now and then man tore apart.

The life of gray Kruszka did not spoil her. As if she had stood in the wrong line for happiness when she came into this world. And when she did come, she went straight to service. The merchant doesn’t say where she is from, but says she came from a long distance. She served in giving birth to foals, like her mother. She couldn’t see the world, couldn’t see more than three meters of her position somewhere in the barn where she lived. The trader says that she lacks manners because she has been chained for years. And his chain is busy at the moment, so he had to let her go. And the chain is busy, because not only Kruszka is getting ready to die here.

Believe me, these choices are always unfortunate. You take someone, you have to leave others. The joy of going with one saved horse is quickly killed by the bitter awareness that so many of them have to be left there. And those eyes on you as you untie the rope of one of them. And you only go out with him. And you pass the rest. And you don’t even look at those eyes. Because you wouldn’t be able to take it. That look is the drop that fills the cup and you would never come back here again.

I do not know if we will leave this place one day with Kruszka. We have to collect PLN 12,800 (3123 USD) to pay the trader for her life and transport. We got time until February 15th. And the truth is that now Kruszka’s life depends on you.


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