Thank you so much for saving Marysia’s life! You are great! As always, you did a miracle for another horse that had little chance in the modern world.
Marysia is already with us on the farm, there is a blacksmith and a pedicure in front of her, then a veterinarian who will do basic diagnostics and do some rest, and then just socialization with other saved horses. And then Marysia will start a new stage in her life – all thanks to the fact that you saw the sense in helping her.
I look deep into her dark, large, frightened eyes. She doesn’t understand why she’s here. It’s not her world. She stands and cuddles up against my lens first and then against me. She rummages in my jacket pockets a little, and then reaches into my hands with wet, warm nose. There is nothing there. The host forbade to feed. He gave me five minutes to take photos. Time’s up. I have to go out the gate.
This bright, powerful mare looks at me with questioning eyes, piercing my soul. And I cannot tell her why, like her, 30,000 horses per year die in Poland. Because Marysia is a good mare, she was …
But she has ceased to be. When autumn came, with the first soggy rain, it was time for her. She spent all life on one farm that was her home. She gave foals, gave all her heart by pulling a cart with wood from the forest, she gave it, nevertheless, plowing the field. She strained her legs, souls and strength to the limit. In the summer, when the sun was warm, she worked hard giving rides to tourists around the lake. They paid her the Lord, not her. She was just a hardware. Nobody ever asked how she was feeling, if she was in pain or tired when it was 30 degrees in the shadow or 15 degrees below zero. Nobody noticed that she started limping in the summer. Even herself, as if she wanted to carefully hide it. As if deep down she knew there was no room for horses that didn’t earn their own money.
When September came, Marysia tripped on a forest road and fell. And, to her misfortune, she could not get up. The peasant who was sitting on the cart sensed that it was not good. He reacted immediately. He called a trader, a farmer from a nearby village who bought horses in bulk, such as Marysia. And then he took her to where the horses never come back from. Marysia, straight from the forest road, was picked up by a bashed up truck. And it drove to the neighboring village, where the trader chased her lame up the gangplank, to its new place, to the barn, on a thick rope.
So Marysia stands at the merchant’s today. She came here a few weeks ago when the first golden red leaves flashed on the trees.
Today, these leaves lay golden feathers on lawns, fields and along roads. The November sun warms Marysia’s nostrils through a small window behind which there is the world – the world beyond her reach. She snorts softly. She talks about life, about serving a man, and about hope that she is the last to leave. Marysia is still standing where the horses get a one-way ticket. The big ones and the small ones. Well, donkeys too. Nothing escapes from here.
Its coming soon, Marysia. I know that you are unaware of what the man you have served so faithfully until old age has prepared you. Everything will become clear to you soon. Only then it will be too late for everything else.
We will not return her youth. We will not give back the years she faithfully served with devotion, when her hooves carried her and the tourists for miles, when her heart was pounding like mad trying to pull heavy cart behind her. We will not give back her foals or the dignity from which she was robbed.
However, we can turn the time back a moment, to that September day when she collapsed on a forest road and things started to happen that the old lady did not understand. Let her not understand. Let her not lose faith in a man. Follow me there on that forest road. Let’s pick her up together, you and me. Let us put the dressing on that sick leg, let us stroke the warm nostrils and pour hope into those terrified eyes. And then let’s lead her to the herd of hundreds of surviving horses. We can’t add days to her life, we don’t have that power. Much is behind her. But we have the power to make the ones that she has left better. Lounging in the summer in the shade of a spreading trees, and in winter, a warm stable. Together, we have the power to make Marysia close her eyes among hers when one day her life comes to an end. And, full of peace, she will gallop to the evergreen pastures, behind the legendary Rainbow Bridge.