September Story Contest

Life of a Filly, Part 2
by microphone & Black Mist age 12

read part one here

I woke up in my warm, cozy stall. Today was my fifth birthday. I missed my mother, but not as much as I had missed Moonstar. I had completed what seemed like tons of races since I turned three. But now I was going to be given a year or two off, for some reason. And I knew why. My owner’s had decided to breed me. I was already in foal. It had been done last week. Moonstar was also in foal. It was late summer, in mid-August. We were due in the spring with our foals. I sighed, got up and yawned. I went over to my water bucket and drank the cool water. I munched what remained of my hay and went to the wall where a large window had been knocked out so Moonstar and I could see each other. Moonstar was awake too. The woman (who’s name is Sarah) came and took both of us to the pasture at once, knowing how we hated to be apart, after we had been separated so many years ago. We grazed together, talking about our foals to-be. I wanted mine to be chestnut. Moonstar wanted hers to be dark dappled grey and to be called Moonlight. Moon after herself and Light after the stallion used to breed her, Lightning Rod. My stallion had been Stardust, a stallion I had grown to like. The other mares, Saturn Star, New Moon and Space Rocket, joined us in the Mare’s Paddock. They were also carrying their foals. Rocket joined us. “Isn’t this exciting? Oh, I just want my foal to be born.” “We all do,” I said. Rocket had been bred by Sun Explosion.

During the harsh, cold winter, our stable was heated by an expensive system. The stallions and geldings were trained still, to keep up their good shape for the first race. My first race would be in the fall. In the late fall, probably the last of the season. Sometimes, if it was warm enough Sarah would come and let us into the pasture or paddock. I loved the snow! I would roll in it and dig in it to eat the dry, brown grass beneath. I loved trotting and galloping. I sprayed snow everywhere! “Starlight, stop it, I’m covered!” Moonstar was indeed. She looked like a snowball. “Sorry.” I helped her shake it off.

Spring came at last. All of us mares were indeed very plump. My belly felt as if it would burst. I took this to think that I was due any day. But it was April before I delivered my foal. I pushed as hard as I could. I lay on the straw bedding of my stall and pushed. Sarah, Jane and Albert (my owner) all stroked me and took turns pulling my foal’s front legs. I realized that my foal’s torso had come out. I gave one final shove and my foal came out. I licked it clean. I stood up and went for some water. My foal tried to stand up, fell down, and tried again. This time it succeeded. It went to drink some milk and I felt a sharp tug. I waited for my owners to name my foal. “Hmm, he has four white feet and a star. And he’s black. Let me see…” “How about Midnight’s Shooting Star?” “Midnight’s too common. How about just Shooting Star?” They all agreed it was a good name and left me to my foal. “My beautiful colt,” I said, remembering the first thing my mother had said to me, “your owner’s have given you a name. You shall be known as Shooting Star, my colt. I love you.” I gave him a nuzzle and looked at Moonstar. Her belly was huge! Suddenly she lie down. “Moonstar, are you okay?” “I-I- my foal’s coming.” I neighed as loud as I could and the humans came rushing back and noticed I was looking at Moonstar.

Moonstar delivered her foal, a messy, chestnut filly with only a snip on her nose. Her name was Red Moonlight, or Reddy.

In the next week, all of us mares had delivered healthy, happy foals. Rocket’s filly was bright white, who’s name was Milky Way. Saturn Star had a beautiful brown colt called Sun Storm, and New Moon had a dark grey called Moon Rock.

Shooting Star loved to run. When he was two months old he would beg me for a canter or gallop. “Star, honey, I’m eating.” “But Mom, please?” I looked at Moonstar, who was having the same problem. She looked at me and nodded. I went to her and we called over the other mares. “Okay,” I said, “back when Moonstar and I were fillies, we started an Annual Foal Race, which was held every day. We all picked a starting and ending point on which we agreed. Then, one foal would gallop to the end and call out, ‘ready set, go’ or something like that. This would be the referee. Then we would shoot off and try to be the winner. After the race, the referee would announce to everyone, the winner, second place and third place, fairly with no favoritism. The race is only run once daily. For today, I’ll be the referee.” All the foals got really excited. They jumped about and thought about where to run to. “Okay, go over by the Ditch. Whoever jumps over it first is the winner.” Shooting Star lined up with the others and I galloped the course for myself. There was a small fallen tree, but that didn’t bother me, it was very small. I jumped over the Ditch and called, “On your marks, get set, go!” I could hear the foals racing toward me. I saw Milky in front and Reddy second. Suddenly, a black jet of lightning shot past them and leaped over the Ditch. Reddy quickened her stride and was ahead of Milky. She launched herself over the Ditch. Sun Storm overtook Milky as well and hopped over the Ditch. Then Milky jumped it. “Where’s Moon Rock?” We all raced back, me in the lead. Moon Rock lay sprawled on the ground, breathing slowly. The Fallen Tree was right behind him. “Rocky, are you okay?” He whimpered and slowly rose, but he favored his right hind leg. “What happened?” “I hit my leg.” “Here, let’s get you back to your mom.” The foals ran ahead to tell what had happened and soon New Moon came galloping up to us. “Thank you,” she said. She knew it had been an accident, and not my fault. Luckily.

The humans took Rocky off in the trailer. New Moon whinnied a goodbye and went under the Shade Tree.

When the humans returned, Rocky said he felt much better. “I’m afraid he won’t be running any races,” said the humans. “We’ll have to sell him to a Riding Stable. I know Rocky Road Riding Stables is looking for another horse – maybe we could sell him to them.” Rocky looked at Moon, worried and frightened. “Don’t worry, you have to be six months at least. And they may not take you.”

Moonstar and I talked that night. We were admittedly worried about Rocky’s future. “Maybe he’ll recover and be able to run races, like Seabiscuit.”

Five months passed. Shooting Star was seven months old. Now all of us mares would join the geldings in the pasture while the stallions got their own paddock. Moonstar and I went back to training with Rocket. One day the humans came with a foal’s halter. The foal’s had just finished racing. Shooting Star had won and Reddy came in second, Milky third. Rocky was now permanently the referee. “Rocky boy, over here.” Rocky turned and trotted away. The human moved forward. Rocky started to run. He succeeded, but not a gallop. Finally he was caught. The human pulled him away. “Star!” He neighed, a tormented shriek that hurt the ears. I watched, horror struck as my colt charged at the human, rearing up and him and making him drop Rocky’s rope. “Star! Stop!” I whinnied, afraid they would sell him too. Jane came and handed Albert the long whip. “Star!” I shrieked as Albert swung the whip to smack his rump. Star neighed, dropping Rocky’s rope which he had been holding in his mouth. He bolted off, leaving the terrified Rocky to be led away.

Rocky was never seen again at Wild Winds Racing Stable.

I was entered in a race against Indian Paint, The Queen’s Revenge, Caribou Mountain, Silvery Wings and Ginger Cake.

The bell sounded, the gates opened. I shot off like a bullet. Indian Paint raced beside me at the back. Jane urged me faster and forward. I ran faster and faster, shooting ahead. At the last turn, Jane flicked the whip and gave me more rein. I shot off, going faster then I ever had before. I passed Silvery Wings and kept speeding up. I crossed the finish line three lengths ahead. (three lengths means three horse lengths.) The loud-speaker announced the results as well as the board being posted. It read; Starlight’s Fury, 1st Silvery Wings, 2nd, Caribou Mountain, 3rd

I was exhausted, but so happy! Moonstar congratulated me. After she’d been sold, she’d moved in with Silvery Wings and she said he was the fastest horse she’d ever known ‘til now.

I fought and won many races that year. Many people would visit Wild Winds just to see me. Jane was very proud to ride me.

But one day Jane fell off Lord Earth and cracked her leg. The next week was a race and Albert struggled to find a substitute. He eventually found Dillon, a born jockey. He was 100lbs and I didn’t like the extra weight on my back. But in that one week we did a lot of training, so I could get fit and ready to race with Dillon on my back.

Silvery Wings was there again. We exchanged greetings. “I don’t stand a chance,” he said to me, “I’m no Seabiscuit or Secretariat like you.” “Good luck,” Then the bell sounded and I shot off, merging with the crowd. On the home stretch I bounded ahead, straining with the effort. I crossed just ahead of Everest, or Eve. As Dillon slowed me down I realized my leg hurt very badly. I started a limping trot which slowed to a walk, and then a halt. We went to the winner’s circle slowly. Photographer’s took pictures and then I was put in the trailer and shipped home.

The vet came the next morning to have a look at my leg, which still hurt. I heard him telling Albert, Jane, Sarah and Dillon that I had broken my leg, right as I crossed the finish line. “I’ll put her down if you want me too.” The vet whispered. “No,” Albert said as Sarah broke into tears, “that’s definitely not an option.” “She’ll never race again,” The vet prompted. “No, but she’ll still make a nice riding horse or lead horse.” “I suppose you could breed from her,” the vet pondered.

A year later I had another foal. A newborn chestnut with a stripe and one white hind foot. Her name was The Flash of a Comet. “Aren’t you going to race?” She asked me. “No, I can’t.” Shooting Star was now two years old and ran his first race, which he came third. “Nice job,” I whinnied to him. “Thanks Mom,”

Flash was lonely for the six months that she lived in the Mare’s Pasture. But at six months, she was moved to the foal pasture. I never ran another race. And then, I was sold.

I hope you have enjoy this second part in Starlight’s life. I really hope you like it as much as The Life of a Filly. I will continue writing about Star until she dies. I hope you enjoy all my stories.