Monday, July 9, 2012

Did You Hear the One About the Pregnant Horse?

by Kate Collins

Seriously.  Because this story made the national news. My local newspaper reported it on the sixth of July, and it was so compelling, I decided to share it with you.

On the night of July Fourth, a pregnant mare was so spooked by the fireworks and gunshots (gunshots? really?) that she broke out of her stable and took off. Unfortunately, as she crossed a railroad track, one of her hooves became lodged beneath a tie and she was unable to free it.

Sometime later, a woman driving across the tracks saw the poor horse lying on her side and thought she was dead. Then the animal raised her head and looked at the woman. Instantly, this kind person pulled over and found a number to call on the crossing gate to alert the train’s command center.  It wasn’t known whether they could stop the train in time, however. The police were contacted and arrived a short time later.

By that time, a group of people had gathered around the horse, and someone knew who the owners were and called them.  Then this larger group of people got together and were able to pull the horse free before she got another hoof stuck, or a train approached. 

Being a writer, I could very well imagine the cheers that went up when the horse was finally freed, and I even imagined that poor animal’s distress lessening. I cried.  Reading on, I learned that this same horse had been rescued by her new owners just one month earlier from a slaughter house.  Her life had been spared twice. I cried harder.

The very next day, the mare delivered her filly, and now we’re waiting to hear if the filly will be okay, because the mare was under such stress that it affected her baby’s health. Please say a prayer.

The national news picked this story up because of its human interest appeal, just as it is now reporting on the baby beluga whale  up in Alaska that got separated from its mom and is now in jeopardy.  Experts from all over the country are flying in to try to save the baby.

If you haven’t seen the movie, BIG MIRACLE, I urge you to rent it. It’s about how this country came together in 1988 to save 3 stranded whales in Alaska. And that’s the point of this blog. I find it utterly amazing and somehow redeeming to see people of all sorts pull together to save an animal’s life. I’ll bet every one of those people who gathered to help that pregnant mare went home changed in some small way.

Do those kinds of stories capture your heart or attention? What is it in our nature that makes it so?