Thank you for saving Maja!
Thanks to you, Maja is now safe. As soon as it was possible, we brought her to our farm, where she was immediately taken care of by a veterinarian. Maja has her own box, dry and smelling of fresh hay, where she can rest, bring some relief to her sore, sick legs, and we do everything we can to make her look to the future with hope. Hope for a quiet rest and warming up the worn-out back in the paddock, in the company of other horses. All this is possible thanks to you – we thank you with all our hearts!
After a dozen or so years, sometimes I have the feeling that I have already seen everything. Or rather, that I saw everything a human could do to an animal. Bay Maja, however, convinced me that there is still a lot ahead of me. No, I’m not happy. But I will humble. Because it makes me realize that sometimes we really don’t understand much, we know little and we can’t do much.
Although … I remember finishing processing photos for the gallery, I just came back from the reservation. It was terribly cold, so my husband and I cooked ourselves almond coffe and we put everything that we managed to capture that day on the disk. We wrapped ourselves in blankets and started a photo review.
The telephone rang. Our Norbert, whom you probably know, is a workaholic. Well, like most of us here. Nevertheless, I prefer calling it passion. The result is the same. But to the point. It is him who calls most traders and people for intervention. They used to call me for many years. But that led us to buy more than 200 horses from the reserves in 2011 prepared for oat. As soon as Norbert started working with us, I decided to give him the phone for the sake of everything. Because although I saw a lot, I never learned how to choose, buy and refuse – without shedding a sea of tears and showing excess emotions to those who are not allowed to show these emotions. Fortunately, as my dad used to say, I am have more luck than wisdom. And when 10 years have passed, we only have 1,000 horses saved. If I was the one to go after the traders, it would probably be 20,000. Some of the women who call us say that they don’t know how we can take it. So I’ll explain right away. We cannot. For 5 years, to traders where there are more horses – I send boys. The prices are then normal, there are no Dante scenes, no quarrels or crocodile tears. Which may sound good, but don’t help at all. Because emotions are a bad adviser.
However, I often go alone to places such as where Maja stands now, where she is temporarily the only horse. Just to remember why we do it, to be able to convey it to you. And while I am taking pictures, the boys negotiate the price, agree on the terms of the contract, transport. And it was like that with Maja that evening.
It was already December. Almost 23.00. And Norbert rang like crazy. I picked up. He asked me to look at the email. A horse like a horse. A tall mare. Quite pretty. “Ewa, look at her hooves! I don’t know how she can stand! ” shouted Norbert on the receiver. I enlarged the photo, and I was speechless. Maja’s legs were bent like harmonica. She could barely stand on them. The trader told Norbert that he is mostly lying down. And when she gets up, it takes a few steps and falls clumsily to the ground. Either from great pain or from imbalance. Or from both.
So I grab my jacket and we meet Norbert in the morning on the spot. But I am showing to you a photo that I got from the dealer. Neither to technicall nor explicit. But it tells a story, the story of a horse that was mutilated by a human. And now another man, smiling, in this photo, is leading her to her death.
The next photos are already ours. It was dawn when we arrived. We had to wait for the trader to come back. We were a bit tired from the road, sparkling snow fell all night, it spread out like a diamond carpet in the fields, and after a while it disappeared. It was already frosty and the sky was almost black. The air felt crisp when we got out of the car. The views are less. Maja was lying on the grass, if you can call it grass. Tied to a stake, she lay almost motionless. She only glanced at the sky with her eyes.
The trader assured us that he did not mistreat the animal. He added that he was looking for help for Maja himself, because he had called us. And if we do not buy her, he ensures that he will not take it for slaughter. Only he will subject to humane euthanasia.
Of course, we put it in a fairy tale. We know such places, we know such stories, and we have known such systems for years. Our last horse, before we could tell you its story, broke his leg. Despite pleas to sell him to us and then put him to sleep, he was taken to slaughter. Against the law, against everything. We do not know what veterinarian gave this recommendation, what slaughterhouse accepted such a horse. But it happened. That’s why we won’t let Maja go …
So, please get to know Maja. Because it is to her, among other things, that we want to give life back for this Christmas. And without you there is no chance of that. All the wonders are here by you, for 16 years .. 1500 miracles! Well then. Maja is 5 years old. She came from some farm. When I ask the trader for details, he lights the already soaked cigarette and goes silent, rolling his eyes. I already know that I will not find out anything. Maybe he bought it at the market. Maybe from a farmer. Maybe she came from somewhere east. When I come closer, Maja feels her duty to get up and welcome me on her piece of lawn. Somewhere I am under the delusion that the merchant standing next to me with a whip in his hand has no influence here.
As Maja rises, the world spins around me. And the tears run by themselves from the eyes. Who could have neglected this mare so much? After all, these legs bent to all sides of the world did not became like that yesterday. Maja staggers slowly to the softer ground. I want to stroke her, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid that fragile mare will crumble as soon as I touch her. I look into her large, fearful eyes. As if fear had always been with them and he had no intention of going anywhere. And burned hope to zero, buried faith in man forever. I stroke Maja over these warm snores, and for a moment she stares at me as if I were a god, as if I had the power to save her. And I only have the power to go home, dump my photos, write this story to you and send you letters.
Someone once told me that when there are no legs, there is no horse. Maja’s deformed legs will not carry her anywhere today. Let’s agree that no one will euthanize her here. Nobody lets go humanely. Because nobody will let themselves lose PLN 7,500 (1841 USD). Yes, this is how much her life costs. I will not promise you that Maja will be functional. We will not do a miracle in the form of new legs. We will not conjure it up for the past 5 years and we will not erase what man has done. I don’t know what will happen to Maja. But when I looked at the December sky with her, I felt that we were in the same wheelchair, under the same sky. Rescue for her is a kind of rescue for us. From anesthesia, from powerlessness, from indifference. From walking by Maja and thinking that it doesn’t concern us. Because it’s all connected in the world. Everything that is happening today influences the events of tomorrow. The world we leave for our children.
My son is only 7 years old. I would like him to live in a world where Maja would get help. And I am terrified of the idea that his generation would have passed her by indifferently. Somewhere out there I dream that when he is big, such bay Maje will not exist. Because no one will dare to go against life as such. But tomorrow is up to us. Up to You. Up to what we will do with Maja and her like.