LUKA

If I wrote that Luka looks imploringly into the lens, I would be lying. Because Luca’s eyes are so swollen that they are almost invisible. He can’t see me, the lens, or the old barn he lives in now. He lives in the dark today.

But do not worry. His days are numbered. The darkness will be gone soon. And with them Luka.

The trader I came to brings horses from all over Europe. This is one of the largest suppliers of horses for slaughterhouses, horses do not stay here for long. I don’t know what happened to Lukae. Maybe he protested while loading, maybe he fell over while driving, maybe he “argued” with people or he defended himself and was beaten with something hard. When I ask the trader, he is silent. He’s not going to talk to me. I have no right to ask any questions here. The slaughterhouse will take Luka right away. Unlike animal aid organizations, they have the sums of such lethal investments right at their disposal. The trader has no interest in waiting for the foundation to collect for buyout. It’s a bit of pity. Or maybe to save conscience. Because by saving a horse, we save not only the horse. We save faith that we have influence on something. We also save the belief that money is not everything in this world. And in ourselves we instill hope that this world has more heart, so it is worth staying in it.

 

When I look at Luca and touch his warm nostrils, I wonder what happened, why the huge man in a leather jacket hidden behind my back is so silent. What is silent about all those who are observing me and Luka so impatiently.

Luka himself is standing still and panting quietly. He tries to look from side to side and shakes his head awkwardly, hitting the dingy wall every now and then. All I hear is his breathing and the thumping of a thick rope against the concrete, which is measured by the merchant’s patience.

I pull back, I don’t want them to be impatient when they touch Luca. The man ties a rope around his head and tugs hard. Luka leaps back in panic, but a second tug puts him back in order. He stands up straight and, swinging his legs high in front of him, takes steps, like a soldier following an order. It goes away, swollen, bruised. He walks away so proudly, even though he cannot even see where he is going, and he is followed by the people who condemned him. So indifferent. And with this indifference they would not only kill him. They will kill any hope that there is more to life. Because it is, right?

He disappeared. Luka is gone. The men are gone. The gates slammed shut. I closed the lens. All I could do was take some pictures of him. Suddenly, there was silence in the empty courtyard, the rain fell a little sleepy, and the dark clouds were scattered across the sky chaotically. I looked at the little window behind which Luka was standing. Now all alone, staring into his darkness. I made a mental promise to come back for him. I promised that I would write to you about Luka and his big, beautiful eyes that are hidden behind all the pain he experienced.

The price for Luka’s life and transport is PLN 11,200 (2815 USD). We have time until February 11th. Without you, no miracle will happen for him. Therefore, on his behalf, please stop. Read about Luka. And help if you can.

 

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