It was cold and it was hard.
That is, the air was cold and the ground was hard. Although, he didn’t withstand the meaning of either one. All he knew was he could no longer hear and felt the thump of his mother’s heart and this definitely was not the nice comfortable warmth that was all he had ever known. Because on that frosty, early May morning in a small clearing, one bench, up from the creek and sheltered on three sides by high brush and huge newly green garner trees, the little Bay Brood mare affectionately known as “Pugglsey” had just, for the fifth time, given birth in the mare pasture on the east-facing slope of the Wyoming Range.
Spring came early so the grass was up good and she was in good shape and she’d had a very easy delivery. She rolled half up and saw her baby’s head up and legs moving. She rose with haste and the afterbirth fell to the ground. She knew the coyotes were there in the high brush, and it was not a problem for her. They were always around doing what comes natural to them. They were there for what was left, after the birth.
Three weeks ago the big new sorrel mare had foaled not 100 feet from this spot and her baby simply never moved. Yes, it was born early and she was thin. She was up and down a lot. It was a long, hard birth and it was a long time before she rose to mother her young. But it was not to be. She nuzzled and licked and done everything in her earthly power, all that day and through the night. The next morning she had to go water, and when she returned there was not a trace left. But even she knew deep down, she did not blame the coyotes; they were just doing what coyotes were put here to do.