BEYANCCA IS ASLEEP IN HER STABLE, THE STABLE CLOCK SHOWS NINE IN THE MORNING.
“Hmmm, ah! What’s the time?” BEYANCCA LOOKS THROUGH HALF CLOSED EYES AT THE STABLE CLOCK AND SWEARS UNDER HER BREATH AS SHE READS IT’S MESSAGE.
“Oh hell! Work again.” SHE SHAKES HERSELF HARD AND TRIES TO PREPARE HERSELF MENTALLY FOR TELLING ANOTHER STORY.
Hi, Beyancca here again. I suppose I’d better tell yet another story, after all that’s what I’m paid for. Well, um, yeah, where do I start? I know, I’ll look round the yard and see who’s about.
BEYANCCA WALKS TO THE HALF OPEN DOOR OF HER BOX AND LOOKS ROUND THE BARN .
Directly opposite me there lives a tiny scrap of a pony. She’s possibly the smallest pony I’ve ever seen! Her name is Silver Lady, but some humans have taken to calling her Marshmellow! But she’s not a Marshmellow, she’s a pony! Mind you there’s no helping some humans is there. I’ll call her Silver I think, I don’t think she’ll mind. I’ve heard her say that “Silver lady” was too fancy for her. Ah well, Silver it is then. The Manageress has only just added Silver to the payroll. But I started questioning why this tiny pony was on the payroll at all? She’s too small to be worked in the school or out in the fields. Not even the smallest humans could possibly work with her! Silver is three feet tall at the most, and the thing to remember is that she’s fully grown! I don’t think I can put my hoof on the perfect rider for her, because there isn’t one! I’m worried that some of the other horses might make fun of Silver because she cannot work like the rest of us. I’ll do all I can to make sure this doesn’t happen. As I watched her, Silver turned her gaze my way and stared at me in wonder.
“She’s probably a little confused by it all,” I thought. Silver opened her mouth to ask a question, but it was plain she was too scared to ask anything of a horse she didn’t know. What made this worse was that the horse facing her was larger, much larger than herself. I waited patiently for some question to come from the tiny creature, but none came. I opened my door and walked across the open space towards Silver. I tried to make it look as if I was going in another direction entirely. But Silver, young as she was, was not stupid. She realised what I was doing and visibly steeled herself to deal with her first permanent resident of the yard. As far as Silver was concerned she was intruding on another horse’s territory. It was my duty to make her feel welcome. I knew some horses wouldn’t like another horse coming into the yard at such short notice. I could confidently name those horses who would raise objections to Silver’s presence. Silver looked hard at me. I could see the poor pony desperately trying to gather enough courage to ask me something. I took pity on her and started our conversation with a typical opener.
“Nice day isn’t it.” Silver looked about her as if she’d just noticed the sunshine.
“Yeah, it is,” she replied. Fleur spat on the concrete with disgust.
“Why are you concerning yourself with that scrap of a pony Beyancca?” she scoffed.
“Someone’s got to show her some affection, and you won’t will you Fleur?” I replied. I knew Fleur wouldn’t get involved with Silver if she could at all help it. Fleur started up again:
“Oh look who’s taking pity on an insignificant scrap of life. Who could it be? Ah yes, Beyancca of course! No other horse would be so stupid or do anything so degrading to his or her standing in the herd. You’re a parasite, and, your name is now mud Beyancca! You’re a snivelling wretch, just like that scrap in the corner you claim to care for.” To say Silver was upset by Fleur’s words would be an understatement. Fleur had managed to reduce poor Silver to tears.
“Who is that horse Beyancca? What does she want? I can’t understand all those words she used, but they sound bad, very bad.” She sobbed. Brydy remarked:
“I’d be very surprised if Fleur knows the meaning of those words Silver.” Silver looked towards Brydy’s box but couldn’t see anyone.
“Is this some kind of joke?” she asked. Brydy replied:
“No it’s not. I’m too short to be able to look over the box door Silver. Don’t worry, there is a horse here.” Silver walked through the barn to take a closer look at Fleur. I watched her anxiously, mentally preparing myself to physically defend her if it came to it. Fleur watched the tiny pony coming towards her.
“Push off!” She snapped. Silver stood her ground and studied Fleur closely. Fleur noticed this and stamped her hoof in warning.
“I object most strongly to being stared at.” She said.
“More long words Fleur.” Brydy remarked.
“Push off back to Ireland you cow!” Fleur replied. Brydy squealed with anger and burst out of her box, intent on doing Fleur physical damage.
“Brydy!” I snapped. This checked the enraged mare long enough for Silver to get out of the line of fire. Brydy was apoplectic with fury!
“Don’t you ever tell me to push off back to Ireland, and don’t ever call me a cow Fleur!” Brydy warned. Fleur sneered at the smaller horse.
“Oh yeah Brydy, and what are you going to do if I refuse to stop insulting you, hmmm? Answer me that one bitch?” Brydy took a pace backwards and left it.
“You’re scared aren’t you Brydy? Poor Brydy, you can’t even stand up to a horse ten years younger than you!” Fleur scoffed. The truth was Brydy knew she was outdone for size and strength. She could not even dream of taking on Fleur in a fight, and that’s what it would come down to, Fleur was never one for talking things out. Fleur proceeded to reduce Brydy to tears with insults I hadn’t heard since Ellen was expelled from the yard. Fleur would have had Brydy all to herself had she not insulted her at the top of her voice. This attracted Balugue who went mad when she heard what had taken place. She opened Fleur’s door and dragged her out into the middle of the yard by her mane. Fleur was so surprised by this she didn’t resist. Before she knew it she was lying on her side on the concrete in the middle of the yard by the tackroom. Balugue screamed at her:
“I heard what you were saying to Brydy Fleur! Do you know the meanings of those insults you threw at Brydy, do you Fleur?” Fleur told Balugue where to go. Balugue waved her hoof in Fleur’s face.
“Don’t you ever talk to me like that!” She yelled. Fleur snapped viciously at Balugue! Her teeth came together inches from the older horse’s nose! This took Balugue by surprise. She drew back hurriedly and from then on kept her distance. Fleur scrambled to her feet and chased Balugue round and round the yard. The poor pony was so frightened she couldn’t think of anything else but running as fast as she could to escape from the raging fury chasing her! This probably accounted for some of the oversight on Balugue’s part that sent her crashing headlong into me as I was being tacked up ready for work. The first I knew of trouble was the sound of running hooves on concrete and then I was struggling to regain my balance after Balugue had nearly run me down. She ran off without apologising. I soon saw why she had done so. Fleur came tearing round the corner after her quarry! Guessing the origins of the chase I stopped Fleur by sticking out my right fore foot. Fleur tripped, skidded and fell onto the concrete. She lay there winded and disorientated. The poor stable Lad who had until that moment been trying to tack me up had felt it necessary to jump for cover as Fleur came thundering round the corner.
I looked down at the horse sprawled on the concrete.
“I feel no sympathy for you what so ever Fleur! You’re the parasite!” I snapped. Silver came running to me then.
“What’s going on here Beyancca?” she asked. I told her in few words.
“It looks like you’ve got her under control anyway,” she replied. Fleur groaned and swore at Silver. Her words were so awful I can’t get the typist to print them! Brydy came past then. She didn’t even look towards Fleur. I rubbed my nose against hers.
“Don’t worry Brydy,” I said.
“Thanks Beyancca,” she replied. Brydy walked away without a backward glance. Fleur jumped to her feet and screamed at me!
“I hate you Beyancca! I hate your guts!” Without warning Fleur lunged at me and sank her teeth into my cheek! At first I had no idea what had happened. The first I knew of trouble was when I felt blood running down my face and into my mouth.
“The bloody sod’s bitten me and I’m bleeding!” I thought. Then the throbbing pain started. I knew this was not just a simple cut. Fleur had actually taken a chunk of Flesh out of my cheek and the wound would not heal without assistance. Blood streamed from the wound and dripped onto the concrete. I began to feel faint and unsteady on my legs. Fleur was staring at her work and was in no mood to help in any way. When Silver saw the blood she passed out.
“Where was the Lad with the tack?” I thought. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. First the Manageress came out of the office, saw the blood on my face and on the floor, bolted into the drugstore for an Equestrian version of a First Aid kit, and then She gently wiped away the blood from the wound. I heard her swear under her breath as she saw the damage. Meanwhile Fleur slunk away. I heard the Manageress say:
“This’ll have to be stitched.” I had already come to that conclusion and told her so. I felt awful. The whole yard was spinning round and round! The floor was coming up to meet me and I,,,
Silver’s scream of terror reached me distantly. I seemed to be floating on the edge of consciousness. The pain from the wound in my face had almost disappeared. I knew I was lying on my side, I could feel the concrete of the yard beneath me. I tried to get to my feet but this made me feel worse. I slumped back onto the concrete almost sobbing with frustration. I felt two pricking sensations in the area where I last remembered my nose to be. I wondered briefly what was going on but in truth felt to ill to care much. A human seemed to be fiddling about with my nose, something like that anyway. After five minutes or so the human stopped whatever he or she was doing and I felt someone gently lifting my head and then I felt straw beneath it. The humans then left me to recover. After an age I regained feeling in my legs and managed to stagger to my feet. I stood in the middle of the yard swaying alarmingly from left to right. I took a few deep breaths and then attempted to walk forward. This made me feel sick so I leant my shoulder against a box door and rested my head on the bars that made up the top half of the door. Some horses had these to stop them from chewing the wood surrounding the door itself. I closed my eyes and fought the waves of pea green dizziness that threatened to overcome me. Suddenly there was a sharp bark in my ear!
“What the hell’re you doing here Beyancca?” I looked up into the eyes of the horse I least wanted to see at a time like this. Confiada gave me a disgusted stare and then a brutal shove in the shoulder with her nose. Unbalanced by drugs and taken totally by surprise I staggered and crashed down onto the concrete outside Confiada’s box. The most disagreeable horse in the yard stared down at me from her lofty perch.
“You know I hate visitors Beyancca! Just leave me alone in peace!” Confiada screamed. Chantilly overheard Confiada’s monologue and tried her best to defend me.
“Look Confiada, Beyancca’s ill. Or didn’t you see what took place only an hour ago? I think not, for if you did you might ‘ave some compassion for ‘er. Then perhaps not. Confiada you are the most unfriendly, disagreeable ‘orse in the yard. I’m sorry that poor Beyancca ‘ad the misfortune to rest ‘er ‘ead on your door! You’re unfit to associate with other ‘orses, you’re unfit to deal with ‘umans! You’re a self centred, thoroughly disagreeable bitch!” Chantilly opened her door and came towards me. She sank to her knees and rested her nose against mine as a sort of solidarity gesture.
“I think you’d be better in your box Beyancca.” Chantilly suggested.
“Anywhere’s better than outside Confiada’s box.” I whispered. Chantilly put her shoulder against mine and shoved me to my feet. Then she almost carried me to my box and tried her best to lower me onto the straw. When I was safely down I looked into Chantilly’s eyes. She looked very tired.
“You’re ‘eavy Beyancca.” She panted.
“Thanks a lot Chantilly,” I said wearily.
“Don’t mention it. I ‘ate that bloody mare as much as the rest of you.” Chantilly replied. She settled down beside me and rested her head on her forelegs. I think she only wanted to keep an eye on me, but I was glad of her company. Chantilly fell asleep and soon I did likewise. For now the box door was locked and Chantilly was with me, I felt safe enough to do this. I slipped into a dreamless sleep and awoke several hours later to the sound of rain.
I Woke with a terrible itching sensation around the area where I had been stitched up. I really wanted to scratch it but resisted the temptation as much as I could. I turned over and tried to sleep a little more. Chantilly shifted slightly and opened her eyes. She yawned expansively:
“Ah! ‘ave a good sleep did you Beyancca?” she asked. I told her that it had been good until I had woken with an intolerable urge to scratch the place where Fleur had bitten me. Chantilly came close to me and brushed my cheek with hers. It was very gentle but did the trick. The itching stopped.
“Thanks!” I said.
“No problem.” Chantilly replied. I walked to my haynet and grabbed a mouthful of straw. Chantilly watched me eating. I spoke round a mouthful of straw:
“come and join me if you like.” Chantilly did as I suggested and we ate in silence. Chantilly suddenly stopped eating.
“’ow’s your ‘uman friend?” Chantilly asked.
“Oh all right I think. Mind you I haven’t seen him for ages,” I replied.
“Miss him do you?” Chantilly asked.
“Um, well yeah I suppose so,” I replied.
“What’s it you like about him Beyancca?”
“He really knows how to stroke a horse Chantilly. I know it sounds silly, but I really don’t give two hoots for polos. I would much rather be stroked any day. That male human knows this and acts on it. I mean, this might sound even funnier to you, but I feel we have a separate language to any other human and horse. The relationship between me and that human is something out of the ordinary.” Chantilly nodded I remember being stroked by ‘im once. Couldn’t really get into it. Lack of eye contact I think.” She said. I didn’t think explaining to her why there was no eye contact would be of much use. Chantilly would only forget it, all the other horses did. Chantilly changed the subject.
“What is it with you and Fleur then Beyancca? I mean, what is it she’s got against you?” I shook my head:
“Haven’t got a clue Chantilly. Wish I knew myself, if I did then I’d do something about it,” I replied. Brydy came calling then. She took the long handle of the bolt in her teeth and slammed it down on the wooden panels of the door a few times. I swallowed my straw and went to see what she wanted.
“yeah Brydy, what can I do for you?” I asked. Brydy looked embarrassed.
“Um, ah, I’m sorry about what happened to you Beyancca. You shouldn’t have been caught up in it.” Brydy replied.
“But Fleur would have almost certainly killed Balugue if I hadn’t got in the way.” I replied.
“You’re a very brave horse Beyancca.” Brydy said.
“I’m only standing up for what I believe is right, and Fleur chasing our leader is most definitely not right,” I replied. Brydy looked out of the barn towards Confiada’s box.
“You had some trouble with Confiada as well Beyancca.” This was a statement not a question.
“Yeah I did, but that’s all in the past now,” I replied.
“No it’s not. Well not as far as Confiada’s concerned. She’s still furious with you for even approaching her Beyancca. The stupid mare is still convinced you knew what you were doing when you came to her door and rested your head on it.” Chantilly spat on the straw.
“Like ‘ell Beyancca knew! Of course she didn’t Brydy. The poor thing didn’t know what day it was, so she couldn’t ‘ave made a conscious decision to go and annoy Confiada! Man how I ‘ate that bloody mare!” Chantilly fumed. Brydy replied:
“You don’t have to convince me Chantilly. Try convincing Confiada.” Chantilly stamped her hoof in rage!
“Man that mare really gets to me! Her attitude is one from the bottom of the barrel!” Someone said:
“Oh is it now? Isn’t that nice to hear. Hey Chantilly, check who’s about before you open your trap!” Chantilly whirled round to see Confiada standing behind her. The sudden shock of discovery made Chantilly shiver with fright!
“Oh Confiada, I, I didn’t know, I really didn’t know!” she gabbled. Confiada was seething with rage! She started saying:
“You’re a bloody,,,” then without warning Confiada seized hold of Chantilly’s right ear in her mouth and bit down hard! Chantilly closed her eyes, trying to control the pain. But when Confiada started grinding her teeth together Chantilly’s control snapped! She squealed and reared, trying desperately to free her now mangled and bleeding ear from Confiada’s grip.
“Leave her alone you bloody fool!” Brydy shouted.
”Shut up you Stupid Irish cow!” Fleur yelled.
“Let Chantilly go Confiada!” I commanded. Confiada opened her mouth to reply, letting Chantilly’s ear go in the process. Chantilly bolted back to her box, blood dripping from her ear. When Confiada opened her mouth to reply to my command I saw she had blood on her teeth.
“Which one of you should I smash first? You Brydy, or should it be you Beyancca?” Confiada asked. Brydy moved nervously, she knew she wouldn’t have a chance against Confiada.
“What is it you’ve got against Beyancca Confiada?” Brydy asked.
“In one word, Contracts!” Confiada replied. We were both stunned!
“But why? What’s Beyancca done to your contract Confiada?” Brydy asked. Confiada gave me a spiteful look.
“When Rosie passed away I could have done so much! But this, this bloody upstart, this foal came and stole my punters! All of them gone, gone to a bloody novice! Beyancca knows next to sod all about anything, and, and look what she’s done! She’s stolen the affections and the custom of nearly all the humans in the book!” Brydy said:
“Perhaps if you were a little nicer to the humans they might come back to you?” Confiada seemed not to hear this. Hearing Confiada refer to me as an “upstart” and a “bloody novice” didn’t do much for me I can tell you. What made this worse was she had been in competition with Rosie for riders. When Rosie passed away Confiada had seen her chance, but I had taken her riders away from her. Confiada wanted to have novice riders, but she knew she could not. This realisation enraged her to the point of violence towards other horses.
“I hate you so much Beyancca!” Confiada yelled. Brydy left us and went back to her box. Confiada spat at me and turned her back.
“I’ll break you someday Beyancca!” she snarled. It suddenly dawned on me that Confiada might be employing simple minded horses like Fleur to do her dirty work for her. Did Fleur’s hostility really go that deep? Or was she in the pay of Confiada. I thought it quite possible that Fleur might be tempted to go the extra mile for a reward or something similar. If this were true then Confiada was taking advantage of horses less intelligent than herself. Surely that was very wrong. Of course Fleur didn’t know this. If she did, she certainly couldn’t comprehend such a complicated concept. I had to see what involvement if any, Fleur had in this awful game.
So I watched out for Fleur and approached her on a totally different matter. I slipped in the question about Confiada as casually as I could.
“You what? Who do you think I am Beyancca?”
“I’m not accusing you of anything Fleur. Please tell me if you’ve been approached by Confiada in the last few weeks and asked to watch me and make my life hell?” I asked. Poor Fleur looked so confused I Nearly gave up. But then she cracked!
“All right! Yes Confiada did talk to me. She asked me if I had heard of any riders she might be able to poach from you Beyancca. I didn’t want to tell her at first, but then, then she threatened me Beyancca! She said if she didn’t have this information she would put me out of action whatever that means.” Fleur was almost crying now.
“Don’t hurt me Beyancca! Please don’t hurt me!” she pleaded. I saw a very frightened mare who had been led into something of a big horse’s game without knowing it. In truth it wasn’t Fleur’s fault at all. All right she might have had a slight grudge against me, but not to the extent of this! Confiada had watched out for two things in her recruit. One attribute was a horse that was close to her target, the other important attribute was that this new recruit had to have some tiny thing against the target. If the recruit did not have anything against the target, I.E. me, then the plan wouldn’t work. I looked at Fleur with sympathy.
“Listen Fleur. you’ve been taken for a ride. You’ve been used for another horse’s own ends.” Fleur looked dumbly back at me. It was plain she didn’t understand. Fleur looked as if she was going to say something.
“I’m sorry for biting you Beyancca!” she said. Fleur rested her head against my shoulder and burst into tears.
“I’m not a violent horse Beyancca, you know I’m not!” she sobbed.
“If you say you’re not violent then why did you do it Fleur?” I asked.
“I suppose it was because I felt the matter was between me and Balugue. I was chasing her and you had no right to stop the chase in the way you did. So I flipped! I used the only method I could think of.” Fleur replied. She looked with horror at the neat row of stitches.
“And now you’re like this!” she sobbed.
“hey come on Fleur. It’s not forever.” I reassured her. Fleur crumbled totally.
“Confiada’s the bad horse Beyancca, I’m not! I’m not! You’ve got to believe me!” she sobbed.
“Shedding crocodile tears are we Fleur?” Confiada asked. We both whipped round to see her standing in front of Brydy’s box.
“I used you to good affect Fleur, now no human will want to ride Beyancca because of these!” Confiada lunged suddenly at the stitching on my cheek and tore them clean out. The large wound was laid open to the elements. The bleeding had stopped but the wound could still get infected.
“I’ll go and get the Manageress Beyancca. You need to get that seen to.” Fleur said. Confiada replied:
“You’ll go nowhere Fleur. I’m going to make sure you go absolutely nowhere.” Confiada stood in front of Fleur’s box barring her exit. I realised I would have to barge through Confiada if Either of us were to escape. I threw my weight against the door and fought madly to overbalance Confiada. But she was a match for me. I managed to get my head and forelegs past her but then a hard, sharp hoof came crashing into my rib-cage winding me. I slumped down onto the concrete and felt Confiada stamping on me.
“Bitch! Bitch! Bitch!” she yelled. Fleur started squealing and crying with fright!
“No! No! Confiada! Leave Beyancca alone, please don’t hurt her!” she pleaded. Confiada snarled:
“I’m not going to hurt her Fleur, I’m going to kill her!” Fleur ran headlong out of her box, out of the barn and into the office. She tried to make the humans understand what was going on. In the end it was more her wild manner than anything that made the humans take real notice. The Manageress and two of her most senior staff came to take a look at the situation. They found Confiada standing over my prostrate form.
“What’s been going on here?” The Manageress asked angrily. Confiada looked back at her dumbly, she was playing the innocent party, mean bitch! The Manageress wasn’t taken in for a moment by her horse’s antics. She seized hold of a handful of Confiada’s mane and gave it a hard shake. The Manageress screamed into the mare’s face:
“What the bloody hell did you do to Beyancca? Tell me! Tell me!” Confiada snapped viciously at the Manageress! This made her recoil in shock and caused one of her staff to produce the feared and hated lunging whip. The Manageress took the whip from her number two and brandished it in front of Confiada’s eyes.
“Now will you tell me Confiada?” She asked. Confiada spat on the concrete at the Manageress’s feet and said nothing.
I woke up then and for a moment couldn’t remember where I was. Then the throbbing of many bruises started to plague me and I remembered all. I groaned with pain and received a hard kick from Confiada! The hard hoof crashed into my ribs! I squealed in agony and caused the Manageress to whip Confiada until she ran away in fear and terror! Unfortunately for me she trampled me in her haste to escape the humiliation of having her backside whipped in public. Fleur sank to her knees and whispered into my ear:
“You all right Beyancca?”
“Oh yeah, just fine. I feel on top of the world, not! How do you think I feel Fleur?” I replied harshly. I regretted my harshness as soon as the words were out.
“It wasn’t my fault! I didn’t bash you!” Fleur whimpered.
“No, Fleur, I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean it like that,” I said. Fleur laid her head on my shoulder.
“Oh Beyancca! Why do I get myself into so much crap?” She asked.
“Search me Fleur. Surely I don’t know,” I replied truthfully. I shifted slightly and wished I hadn’t. I squealed in pain despite my attempts not to. I noticed Fleur was crying.
“Confiada’s really hurt you hasn’t she Beyancca?”
“Yeah you could say that Fleur,” I replied. Meanwhile the Manageress had got a file of morphine and was preparing an injection for me. I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to having a needle stuck in me before, but I could say quite certainly that I was looking forward to it with a sort of strange excitement. That injection represented pain relief, and I needed all I could get! I know there’s a human phrase “feeling like you’ve been kicked by a horse,” but just try being trampled by one. Worse still try being trampled by a horse that actually meant to do you permanent damage if she had her way. The Manageress knelt down and slipped the needle into my jugular vain. Soon the morphine took affect and the pain subsided to a faint whisper of it’s former self. Fleur noticed I was more relaxed.
“I can’t cope with this!” She whinnied.
“What’s this all about Fleur?” The Manageress asked. Fleur told her all about it. She told the human about Confiada’s having recruited her to spy on me, and of the origin of her discontent. Fleur told of Chantilly’s run in with Confiada,,,
“I know about that Fleur.” The Manageress said. Then Fleur came to the present day and she told of how she had tried to repair relations with me. Fleur told of how it had all gone so very wrong.
“Hmmm nice story Fleur. But can I believe you?” the Manageress asked.
“Well why not? Why can’t you believe me?” Fleur asked.
“You’ve made up some real tall stories in your time Fleur.” The Manageress replied.
“But this isn’t! It’s all true! Ask Chantilly, ask Beyancca, they’ll tell you it’s all true!” Fleur pleaded. The Manageress looked down at me.
“Right now Beyancca’s in no state to verify anything.” She said.
“Well get Chantilly then.” Fleur suggested.
“I might just do that.” The Manageress replied. Chantilly arrived and stood for a long minute looking down at the scene.
“Cor’ bloody ‘ell! What’s gone on ‘ere then?” She asked.
“Confiada thumped Beyancca, and I wish you wouldn’t swear like that Chantilly, it’s not very becoming of you.” The Manageress replied.
“How would you like me to swear then? In German?” Chantilly asked.
“Don’t be cheeky!” The Manageress remonstrated. Chantilly then put on a German accent and said:
“Ah Scheissen!” This made all the horses in the barn laugh, for my part it hurt! The Manageress was unimpressed.
“Get back to your box Chantilly!” She commanded. Misty couldn’t contain her pleasure at seeing Chantilly stand up to the Manageress. You see before then no horse had dared question what the Manageress said. But now Chantilly had done so to fantastic affect. Misty couldn’t keep a straight face whenever Chantilly was about. She seemed to be permanently on the verge of falling over with laughter. I think it was the spontaneity of the thing that made it work. I doubted if any other horse could do the same thing and achieve the same affect.
I know Chantilly’s little bit of backchat had lightened the mood somewhat. Fleur had stopped blaming herself for my misfortune, and my condition was steadily improving. They say that laughter is the best medicine don’t they? Well it had worked for me anyway. All the horses wanted an account of how Chantilly had given the Manageress backchat and got away with it. It’s a pity noone recorded it on tape for a permanent reminder.
You might or might not be asking what became of Confiada after she had been whipped off me? Well I’ll tell you. She had raced back to her box and hidden herself inside it. She was furious with all of us for rumbling her. She knew she wouldn’t get away with it this time because Fleur or Chantilly would spill the beans and that would be the end for her. She lay down in her box and sulked.
I will skip a few days now. I continue this account about a week from the events described above. Chantilly was still accorded celebrity status within the yard for her daring feat of backchatting the Manageress and getting away with it. She still swore like a trooper and dropped her H’s. I suppose that’s part of what makes Chantilly who she is. Chantilly had also adopted Fleur and Silver as her own. This might seem a curious combination to some readers, but I can assure you it worked. Chantilly was a streetwise horse who never missed a trick. Perhaps that’s where she gets her appalling language and grammar from? I don’t know but there’s a suggestion anyway. Chantilly tried to make Fleur a little more wise to the world but failed miserably. No matter how she tried she couldn’t get Fleur to accept that roads were dangerous, that farmers did not like her standing in the midst of their crops, that it was undesirable to riders if she looked into every corner she found, or, that if she was standing in the riding school looking into the restaurant through one of the windows, with her nose pressed against the glass, and some human was scratching the glass, that she was not actually having her nose scratched by that human. Chantilly had more success with Silver however. Silver learned quickly who to, and who not to trust in the yard. She learned a lot of history in a very short time. Unfortunately she also learned how not to talk. But then again I suppose you can’t have it all. Chantilly has a heart of gold and that’s what matters really. So what if Silver learned the wrong way of speaking. I think they call it Suffolk speak, or something similar. What I do know is that most of the minor swear words are used quite frequently. This was not lost on Confiada either. She was appalled by both Chantilly and Silver’s use of minor invective.
“I can’t stand Chantilly’s use of those awful words!” Confiada was heard to say once. Chantilly challenged her:
“And what you gonna do about it Confiada?” Confiada’s reply was:
“Shut your bloody trap!” What a hypocrite! But who could we give the job of teaching Silver good grammar? Jinja’s almost as bad as Chantilly when it comes to grammar, so’s Balugue, Jingle was officially retired so she couldn’t or wouldn’t work, and the rest spoke much like Chantilly anyway. So we were on a loser don’t you think? The only avenue open to us was to ask a Field horse to do the work for us. But they had turned their backs on us ever since Jamie, my estranged husband had joined the yard herd.
Jamie and I are not getting along too well at the moment. He’s too distant and says that I’m too wrapped up in my human friends to care much for him. When I pointed out the fact he was never around, he went silent and stamped off, miserable git! So I can kiss him goodbye and get on with my life. I won’t pretend I’m not sad to see him go, because I am. But a horse has to do what a horse has to do, and if I’m a career horse, well so be it. I’m not desperate for a foal yet, but I’m sure I’ll get that way someday.
Fleur looked across at me.
“Would you come with me Beyancca?” She asked. Without answering her verbally I followed her out of the yard and up the track to where I knew her wood, or the replanted bit of it to be. Fleur stood at the gate looking over it into the field where the plastic tube trees grew. She asked:
“What are those tubes Beyancca? And what do they contain?” I opened the gate and walked across to one of the aforementioned tubes. I peered inside it and confirmed my theory.
“Um, yeah as I thought. They’re trees Fleur,” I replied.
“What? Those tubes you mean?” Fleur asked.
“No no Fleur. Not those tubes. The tubes protect the tiny trees inside them. When the trees are strong enough the humans will come and take the tubes away,” I replied.
“Oh right.” Fleur drawled. I took a look in several more of the tubes, but found nothing but trees.
“Humans trying to compensate for a massive screw up,” I thought. I remembered Fleur’s distress when she found her wood destroyed. She wouldn’t be here when the wood was back to it’s former glory. I felt real sorrow for her. I knew she’d loved that wood. It had been her sanctuary from her sometimes intolerable world. I came to the conclusion that Fleur was a kind hearted horse, if somewhat misguided sometimes. So what if she has a simple mind. I looked over at Fleur roaming amongst the tube trees. She was in a world of her own, probably remembering the wood as it used to be. She was probably reliving her times with Figaro and Joe. She had loved both with all her heart and they had left her. All right Figaro couldn’t help it, and he didn’t want to leave her alone. But Joe, that bastard of a horse ran off and left her alone as soon as he realised she had a mental disorder. Son of a cow! I knew she was always too good for scum like him!
I saw Fleur turn towards me and come slowly across to meet me.
“Can we stay here for a while Beyancca?” She asked.
“Why yes of course,” I replied. Fleur settled down in the grass and rested her head on the soft green turf. She closed her eyes and drifted off into her world again. I could only suppose when she was in this field she was in a place where noone could harm her. Poor Fleur was so young at heart. If anything she was more immature at her age than Silver is at hers. Silver would cope with life in the yard, Fleur would need some assistance. I watched over Fleur until she woke in the early evening. She got slowly to her feet and came across to me.
“Thanks a lot Beyancca.” She said. It seemed she had forgotten her grudge against me. I was glad of this and hoped it would remain forgotten. Fleur and I walked back to the yard in companionable silence.
· We arrived in the yard to find Confiada squealing her head off! At first we could see no reason for her antics, but then all became clear. The humans were using the hose to cool Confiada off. She is particularly sensitive on her belly and water tickles as it sprays out of the hose. Confiada was squealing and leaping, much to the annoyance of the Lads who were trying to hose her down.
· “Stand still you big wimp!” One Lad commanded.
· “Don’t call me a wimp!” Confiada protested. She retracted her lips from her teeth and squealed as the water was played under her belly. I know this might sound like torture, but how else was a group of stable Lads meant to wash a horse? Confiada made the job difficult for them. It was a hot day, and I would have given anything at that moment to be put under the hose. I decided to have a go at reserving my place and showing Confiada up! When the Lads released her, Confiada fled back to her box in a flurry of hooves and slammed the door! Now it was my turn. I walked towards the hose and stood there expectantly, much to the delight of the Manageress and some other much younger humans on what they call Pony camp. My antics caused comment among the Lads:
· “Beyancca wants a wash.” The Manageress said:
· “She’s a soppy thing. Give her a wash if you like. It’ll be a sinch after washing Confiada.” So the Lads set to work with the hose. At one point I took the chance to soak a stable Lad and rested my head on the shoulder of one of the younger humans. This meant she got totally drenched when her friends sprayed me with the hose, and guess what! She wasn’t wearing waterproof clothing! Ha! Ha! Ha! I made it quite clear to the Lads that I found the hosing down very pleasurable indeed. The Lad I had soaked was now standing in the sunshine, her rather wet clothes steaming in the heat. The Manageress came up to me and hugged me. I leant down to her and she whispered into my ear:
· “Did you mean to soak the Lad?” I made it quite clear that I had indeed meant to soak the Lad.
· “They don’t mind that sort of thing do they?” I asked carefully.
· “Oh no, no of course not. You see if I tell them the horse actually planned on soaking one of their friends they’ll talk about it for weeks. The story’ll go round about how a horse made a conscious decision to soak a human.” The Manageress replied.
· “You’ll be an instant celebrity then Beyancca.” Chantilly remarked.
· “Hmmm yeah I will won’t I,” I replied dreamily. But my attention was not focused on Chantilly. One of the younger stable Lads was stroking my nose and fondling my ears. I rested my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes. I drifted off to sleep. I was rudely awoken by the Lad shouting at me to:
· “Get off Beyancca! You’re getting heavy!” I straightened up quickly.
· “Um, ah, where am I?” I asked. Chantilly told me.
· “You fell asleep Beyancca! You were well gone I can tell you!” She laughed.
· “Proper sweet you looked there I can tell you!” She added. I shook myself and walked back to my barn. I climbed the steps and felt a nose rubbing my shoulder. Looking down I saw Misty nuzzling me.
· “What can I do for you?” I asked. Sensing Misty would like to rest her head on my shoulder, I opened her door, sank to my knees and Misty did indeed rest her head on my shoulder. Suddenly she burst into tears.
· “Beyancca! Please help me!” she pleaded.
· “What’s the matter Misty dear?” I asked.
· “Confiada!” was all Misty could say before a fresh cascade of tears overcame her.
· “What’s that stupid mare done now?” I ASKED. Brydy chipped in:
· “Oh just threatened Misty that if she said anything bad about her than she’d hurt her badly.” I could see Misty took Confiada’s threat seriously.
· “Don’t worry Misty love. She cannot hurt you.” I reassured her. Confiada overheard our conversation and threw her two pence worth in:
· “And you can be sure of that Beyancca? Tell me how you can be so sure that I won’t seriously harm Misty if she steps out of line? I’ve done it before and I’ll gladly do it again! Watch out Misty, I’m coming to get you!” She screeched. Poor Misty howled in terror! She buried her face in my fur and cried. Her tears wet my fur and she shook violently.
· “Poor Misty’s so frightened,” I thought. I then thought of the huge bundle of resentment that made up the horse we all hated. Confiada was indeed “an unfriendly bitch!” As Chantilly put it. Misty clung to me as if I were the last horse on Earth. Someone behind me asked:
· “What’s going on here?” I turned my head to see Jinja standing a little way off. I filled Jinja in on the developments so far.
· “Stupid Cow isn’t she.” He said.
· “Yeah something like that.” I agreed. I got up from my almost prostrate position on the concrete and shook myself. Chantilly watched me with admiration.
· “I don’t know ‘ow you do it Beyancca, I really don’t.” She said.
· “Do what?” I inquired.
· “Keep as slim as you do.” Chantilly replied.
· “Well I watch what I eat. You know, only the best grass, oats, straw or hay if I can get it, no scrounging and absolutely NO POLOS!” I replied.
· “Oi! ‘ang on a minute Beyancca. You’re not saying I’m fat are you?” Chantilly asked.
· “Who? Me? No of course not Chantilly,” I replied. Chantilly ran to me and bashed me hard on the shoulder with her nose. It hurt and I told her so.
· “Oh sorry b’,” she replied. This shortened version of my name, the “B’” I mean comes from some television program I think. In fact now I think of it humans keep doing cockney impersonations whenever they’re within earshot of me, I can’t work it out, answers on a postcard please. But I suppose there’s no harm in humans wanting to make fools of themselves in front of us horses. Well enough of that I’m bored. Meanwhile Jinja had retired to his box in the driving yard and Confiada had stopped screaming blue murder. The day was closing and now it was almost dark. Lights began to flash on all over the stable yard. I settled down in my box and tried to sleep. I had just fallen off the black cliff of sleep when there was a furious banging on my door. I told whoever it was to go away in no uncertain terms. But when I heard Domino’s cry of:
· “Can’t anyone give me any information round here?” I relented and scrambled to my feet. Stumbling towards the door I unlocked it and pushed it wide. The piebald pony stood in front of me with her foal. I could see Domino was severely distressed.
· “Domino, What’s the matter dear?” I asked. The poor pony was almost crying.
· “What’s the matter? You ask me what the Matter is? Well try being told you’re owner in all her wisdom has decided to move you to another yard Beyancca!” Domino yelled. I was out of my depth and told her so.
· “What’re you going on about Domino? Take it from the beginning and for heaven’s sake take it slowly.” I pleaded.
· Domino told me that Jamie told her, she and Mac her foal were to be taken by their owner to another yard.
· “But what about Mac? What’ll she do?” Domino asked helplessly.
· “What do you mean “what’ll Mac do?”” I asked. Domino exploded in my face!
· “Don’t be obtuse Beyancca!” she shouted. She calmed down slightly:
· “Look B’, it wasn’t as if our owner asked us if we wanted or minded if she moved us. I mean, a horse needs stability in it’s life. I’ve had very little and Mac’s had none! What’re we gonna do?” she whimpered. Right then I had no answers for her. I could see Domino’s predicament quite clearly and it was a bad one. She and her foal were being taken along by a human’s whim, and there wasn’t a thing they could do about it. I looked down at Mac. She looked up into my face with trust.
· “Mac’s trusting me to sort this thing out, and I’m going to betray that trust because there’s not a dam thing I can do!” I thought. Mac said:
· “I don’t want to leave the yard Beyancca. My home’s here. This is the only place I’ve known. Please don’t let her take us away!” She pleaded. I felt a lump in my throat.
· “how could I tell this foal that I can’t do anything to stop their owner?” I asked myself. Then another dreadful thought assailed me.
· “If Jamie told Domino, then it was probably off hand and even bordering on rudeness. Jamie could be a tactless oaf sometimes.” I hoped for domino and Mac’s sake he had told them gently, I feared not. Domino was crying now.
· “It’s like getting chucked out of your own stable.” She sobbed. I hugged Domino and Mac in turn trying to convey the hopelessness of the situation. I decided to come clean and tell them the truth.
· “I’m sorry domino, Mac, I can’t do anything against a human’s wishes.” Domino screamed:
· “It’s because you don’t want to!” Fortunately for me Mac hadn’t lost her head, she squared up to her mother and yelled at her.
· “Shut up mum! Beyancca’s right, she can’t do anything! Domino stared at me.
· “You mean we’ve lost? We’re finished?” I didn’t have to say anything. Domino turned her back on me and stormed off in a furious temper. Mac stayed behind however.
· “you can’t do anything can you B’?” She asked.
· “No Mac dear, I’m afraid not,” I replied. I felt tears pricking the backs of my eyes.
· “You’re not crying are you Beyancca?” Mac asked. I hugged her and sobbed into her fur.
· “Hey Beyancca, come on dear. It’s not that bad. We’ll get through this somehow.” Mac reassured me.
· “I feel so powerless Mac.” I sobbed. I hugged her tightly.
· “I love you Mac!” I said. Mac shed a few tears herself then. She gulped:
· “Thanks for everything B’.” She said. I dried my eyes and looked over my box door. I saw Domino’s owner coming to collect her horses.
· “Time to go Mac,” I said. Mac hung back.
· “She’ll have to drag me out!” She said harshly. Mac got dragged out and put onto a transporter lorry with her mother. Both Domino and Mac whinnied at the top of their voices as they left. They shouted insults at humans in general, and at their owner in particular. It was said in horse talk of course. But all too soon they were out of sight and then out of earshot, never to be seen or heard of again. I watched them go, following the lorry as far as I dared. I watched the lorry pull out onto the main road and disappear out of sight. When the sound of it’s engine had subsided I couldn’t help shedding a few tears for Domino and Mac.
· “It seems so unfair!” I thought. I made my way back to the yard via Coquin’s field. He looked up from his grazing as I passed.
· “hey Beyancca! Haven’t seen you in ages!” he whooped.
· “Look Coquin, I’m not in the mood for joviality. I’ve just seen the most unfair thing, Domino’s owner has taken her and Mac away for good! They weren’t even asked if they wanted to go! It’s awful, no it’s worse, it’s criminal.” I fumed.
· “So much for passing the time of day.” Coquin said. With that he turned his back on me and continued to munch grass. I dragged my feet as I walked back to the yard. Chantilly saw me and commented on my shattered appearance.
· “Cor’ B’ you look bloody awful. Come ‘ere.” She said. Chantilly hugged me and helped me back to my box.
I flopped down on the straw feeling drained both mentally and physically. I closed my eyes and wished the nightmare would go away. When two members of a herd are taken away like that, the feeling of loss is indescribable.
I became more and more withdrawn as the days passed. The Manageress became concerned and called the vet in to take a look at me. But the vet only found a deep depression, which he couldn’t treat with drugs.
“Has anything stressful happened in the last few weeks?” The vet asked.
“Well yeah, Domino and Mac left if that’s what you mean.” The Manageress replied. The vet nodded.
“Could be the key. You see horses are very family orientated. If a member of their circle goes missing they will pine for that member for ages. I think Beyancca’s pining for Domino and Mac.” The Manageress asked:
“But how can we be sure? Horses don’t know that much about what goes on in their lives do they?”
“Beyancca’s your horse, surely you should know her better than anyone.” The vet replied.
“Is she the type of horse to think round problems?” The vet asked.
“Yes she is, well I think she is.” The Manageress replied.
“I’d take it as read that the horses in your yard know a hell of a lot more about what goes on around here than we first thought.” The vet said. Chantilly chipped in:
“Too dam right! We know an ‘ell of a lot more than you ‘umans will ever know.” The vet stroked my mane and fondled my ears.
“this horse needs a lot of reassurance. I understand a lot has been changing round here recently?” The vet asked.
“yes there have been a lot of changes.” The Manageress agreed. The vet replied:
“Try and set up a routine with Beyancca. Try and make sure she gets used to the certainty of work, and reassure her that she has the love of her equine and human friends. I know you might have been doing this already, but redouble it. Beyancca will thank you for it in the end.” The Manageress stroked my mane and ran her hand down my nose. I rubbed back against her pressure.
“Good girl Beyancca.” She said. The vet then had another idea:
“There might be problems within her herd also you realize.” He suggested. I almost cried out! The vet had hit the problem right between the eyes! Both humans noticed my sudden reaction and tried to get to the bottom of the problem. The Manageress put her arms round my neck and hugged me tightly. I rested my head on her shoulder and closed my eyes.
“What or who’s troubling you Beyancca?” The Manageress asked. I shook myself free of the human’s grip and opened my door.
“Come with me and I’ll show you who’s causing all this trouble,” I said. The Manageress and the vet followed me until I reached Confiada’s box. Fortunately for me the loathed and hated mare was out on a two hour hack.
“This is the sweetheart who’s causing all this crap!” I snapped.
“Look Beyancca. I know Confiada’s not exactly in your good books at the moment, but does she really deserve this?” The Manageress asked. Chantilly hawked and spat on the straw inside Confiada’s box.
“That bloody mare deserves an ‘ell of a lot more than what she’s getting from us! We all ‘ate her big time!” She said. Chantilly looked down the yard to where the horses were returning from the aforementioned two hour hack. She spotted Confiada and spoke through clenched teeth:
“Bloody mare’s coming back.” The Manageress helped in the untacking of the horses. Confiada went up close to Chantilly and used words towards her that the typist said he definitely wasn’t printing. Chantilly ignored Confiada completely. This enraged the mare so much she started screaming obscenities at anyone who came within earshot.
“Old Bitch!” was Jinja’s verdict. Unfortunately for Confiada there were other horses in the party who were knew to the yard and hadn’t yet met those who lived in the main section. These horses had been staying out in the fields and therefore had only heard by word of mouth of Chantilly, Confiada, Jingle and the rest. Now they had a good chance to come face to face with those horses they had previously only heard about. The first newcomer was a horse named Jasper. He was a huge Suffolk Punch horse, nearly eighteen hands in height with broad shoulders to match. He looked frightening, but with most large animals, their size hides a soft personality beneath. Jasper was as soft as they come. He approved of Chantilly and disapproved of Confiada on sight. I couldn’t help thinking that Jasper and Chantilly might make a good couple. I quickly found out that Jasper’s language and grammar matched Chantilly’s and they had common interests in wildlife and the countryside. Poor Jasper was so large he couldn’t get into the boxes. Jasper and Chantilly broke away from the main group and walked off up the track towards Fleur’s wood. Confiada blew through her nostrils trying to suppress her fury! At first I thought she had reacted to the sawdust because I only heard her puffing and blowing. On investigation it turned out a human was petting her. Confiada’s control snapped!
“Push off! I hate being stroked! Get out! Get out of my box, get out of the yard, get out of my life!” she screamed. The human seemed to be oblivious to the horse’s agitation. The human led Confiada out of her box and put her head on Confiada’s shoulder. Confiada flipped! She snapped at the female human three times in quick succession. The third snap hit home and took a chunk out of the poor human’s arm. Blood started welling from the wound and Confiada’s fait was sealed. Unknown to any of us, Jasper had returned with Chantilly and had been watching all this. The Moment Confiada actually did a human harm, he struck! He bulldozed his way through the crowd in the yard and floored Confiada conclusively. Confiada was trampled under the huge Suffolk Punch’s hooves! Now she was getting the medicine dealt out to her. Chantilly shouted above the noise of Confiada’s squeals of pain and the general uproar of battle:
“I didn’t want you to kill ‘er Jasper! I just wanted you to teach ‘er a lesson that’s all!” Jasper made sure Confiada wasn’t going to get up in a hurry and then returned to Chantilly’s side.
“I gave ‘er a bashing she’d never forget!” he panted. Poor Chantilly was close to tears.
“If you’ve caused ‘er permanent damage Jasper I’ll never forgive you!” She sobbed.
“don’t worry Chantilly, I ‘aven’t done ‘er any real damage. It feels worse than it really is.” Jasper reassured her.
“I ‘ope you know what you’re doing Jasper.” Chantilly said.
“Confiada might be complaining that I bust something. But I never! I never meant to do ‘er real ‘arm! I just applied a little pressure ‘ere and there, you know. She’ll be all right in the morning. But She’ll never bloody forget it!” Jasper said.
Meanwhile Confiada was wailing about Jasper having smashed every bone in her body.
“Ah shut it!” Jasper bellowed. Confiada squealed at him:
“I’m gonna be an invalid for the rest of my life thanks to you!” Jasper spat on the concrete at his feet.
“Rubbish!” he said. The vet came and checked Confiada over.
“Looks like you got your just deserves!” He said. Confiada swore at the vet, over and over again.
“Be like that then.” The vet said. He packed up his instruments and approached Jasper. The vet hugged the huge Suffolk Punch horse.
“you really gave ‘er something to think about.” He said. Jasper nuzzled the vet’s shoulder.
I walked round to take a closer look at Chantilly’s new-found friend. Up close Jasper was larger than ever! He towered over me by I don’t know how many hands. His build reminded me of Rosie’s. But this horse was built like a solid battering ram! I decided I would do all I could to keep in Jasper’s good books. Everything about Jasper was large. His ears were huge, and I thought mine were large! His eyes were large but watery. Jasper stood straight and tall, inadvertently showing his full magnificent form to any mare that cared to glance his way. He was a spectacular creature! My eyes traveled down his body from his eyes and ears to his massive shoulders. I started wondering how he could have pulled off such an amazing stunt like the one he had with Confiada.
“Surely a massive horse like that couldn’t even begin to appreciate gentleness?” I thought. My gaze traveled down his legs to,,.
Possibly the largest set of hooves I had ever seen! Man! Even Fleur’s were dwarfed by these! Jasper’s hooves were wide and very heavy looking. Once he raised a forefoot and I saw what I thought to be the largest horseshoe in the world! It had to be, I don’t know how large it was, but it was huge! The massive Grey horse turned my way.
“I see you like my hooves.” He observed. I felt like saying:
“I like all of you.” But stopped myself. Jasper turned his gaze my way. He began to laugh as he noticed my expression.
“Beyancca’s totally overcome!” he announced to everyone who would listen. Chantilly hugged her new-found friend.
“I like you very much Jasper.” She whispered.
“No foals Chantilly, I’m a gelding.” Jasper admitted.
“I don’t care!” Chantilly said with fervor. She hugged the huge horse with passionate longing.
“are you sure that’s just a keen friendship Chantilly? Or is it something deeper?” I asked.
“Go back to your box Beyancca. This is adult time.” Chantilly joked.
“So it is something deeper.” I confirmed.
“yeah it is.” Jasper agreed.
“Good luck to both of you,” I said.
“Thanks!” They replied. With that Chantilly and Jasper turned tail and ran off up the track. I watched them go, thinking all the while about that large Suffolk Punch horse called Jasper. I looked down at my own hooves, comparing them to Jasper’s. mine were miniscule compared with his. I shook myself and wandered back to my box. Jinja saw me and stopped me.
“Hey B’, did you see that massive horse with Chantilly? He was huge wasn’t he!” Jinja was acting like a foal. His excitement at seeing a huge horse was almost comical.
“Look Jinj’, why are you so excited? You’re acting like you’ve never seen a large horse before,” I said. Jinja smiled:
“But B’, he’s so large, I’ve never seen a horse like him before!” I went back to my box and stood waiting for developments. Suddenly the daylight was blocked by a horse’s huge form! Jasper stood in the entrance to the barn and surveyed the scene. He saw who he was looking for and said:
“’ey Misty, come out ‘ere for a bit will you.” Misty obeyed Jasper’s instruction and stood Beside him. Chantilly watched them both. Misty had told her that she would like to stand with the largest horse in the yard. Now Jasper was here, and he was huge! Misty looked up into the massive horse’s soft brown eyes.
“you are a magnificent chap.” Misty said. Jasper pretended this sort of praise was commonplace, but deep down he was squirming with embarrassment. Misty looked up into Jasper’s face, and then down at his massive hooves. Jasper said:
“Anyone would think you lot had never seen a large ‘orse with large ‘ooves before.” Misty laughed at this. Jasper moved carefully round Misty and walked off with Chantilly.
“Love’s young dream.” Candy remarked.
“Hmmm, yeah it looks like it don’t you think Misty?” Brydy asked.
“Yeah, well Chantilly won’t have far to look for protection. Did you see the hooves on Jasper? They must have been at least half a mile across!” Misty replied.
“Um, Misty, hate to disillusion you, but Jasper’s hooves aren’t half a mile across.” Candy said.
“Well how large are they then?” Misty enquired.
“I don’t know, but they’re not half a mile.” Candy replied.
“Well it sounded good didn’t it?” Misty asked.
“If you want my honest opinion Misty, um, it sounded overstated and total crap.” Silver said.
“Shut it littl’en.” Misty said.
“Don’t call me that!” Silver whimpered.
“Oh sorry sorry sorry. I forgot, you’re fully grown aren’t you Silver? Well you’re still little.” Misty replied.
“You’re not exactly large yourself Misty so shut it!” Silver snapped. Brydy was tired of their bitching and told them so.
“Look Misty, and you Silver! I’m sick of your argument. Just shut up and let’s live in peace hey?” Misty walked calmly up to Brydy’s door and kicked it with all her force! The sudden noise made Brydy whinny in fright!
“What the hell did you do that for?” She asked. Misty put her mouth close to Brydy’s ear and screamed:
“You’re always on about us living in peace! Peace this, peace that! Well Brydy, you’ll just have to get used to the fact that there won’t be peace! Where did you get this utopian idea from anyway? Second thoughts don’t answer that! You live in a dream-world Brydy!” Misty retired to her box before Brydy could recover enough to answer her back. If Misty had stayed a while she would have seen the affect of her words on Brydy. The poor horse had lain down on her straw bed and was sobbing quietly. I don’t think the others noticed, but I did. I resolved to go and talk to Brydy as soon as possible, no matter what Misty thought of me doing so.
That night Brydy left the yard after dark. I saw her go and waited for all the other horses in the barn to settle down for the night, for I didn’t wish to be caught by any of them, least of all Misty. The stupid horse had no idea of Brydy’s beliefs. I knew where she had come from. I also knew the latest developments in her country. I could bet my year’s supply of oats that this was part of what was upsetting her so much. I had noticed Brydy’s reaction to the “yes” vote in her country, I thought I knew what she was driving at. All the others were quiet, there was no sound from the barn. I quietly walked to my door and took hold of the bolt. I drew it back,,,.
It squealed like an injured horse! Dam it! I waited, feeling sick, and shaking violently with fright! I knew if Misty found out she'd ask questions and I wouldn't hear the end of it! I tried to calm myself and approach the problem once more. Easing back the bolt, I pushed gently against the door until it gave under my pressure. Luckily that was easy! PHEW! I crept from my box hoping my shoes wouldn’t make much sound. I had tried to remove them earlier in the day but failed. I had all the while an intolerable urge to run! I knew this must be suppressed at all costs. I knew some horses tuned their ears to things like running hooves, believing that Equine invaders would always run into their target yard. My heart was beating a thousand bass drums in my chest as I closed my door, walked as silently as I could to the entrance to the barn by the car park, turned the corner and started to run! My hooves made a muffled clattering on the dirt covered track! My fear was acute, I was so scared I nearly missed Brydy on the track. She was walking slowly, almost dragging her feet in fact. She saw me before I saw her. Strangely enough seeing Brydy calmed me a good deal. Perhaps it was because now there were two of us together, safety in numbers you might say. Right then Brydy was the most welcome person in the world! I moved alongside her and brushed her nose with mine.
“Brydy?” I said. She turned her head and looked into my eyes.
“You don’t feel the same way as that other lot do you.” She stated.
“No, No Brydy I don’t. if I did would I be here?” I asked.
“no I suppose not.” Brydy replied.
“What’s upsetting you Brydy dear?” I asked. I knew her reply before it was out.
“Recent events in,,,.” Brydy began to cry.
“It’s so unfair!” She sobbed.
“I know Brydy, I know it is my dear,” I said softly. Brydy clung to me.
“it’s horrible what happened! Even if I attempted to tell them lot in the barn what was troubling me, they wouldn’t listen.” Brydy said. I thought:
“yeah you’re right Brydy. Misty for one knows bloody nothing.” Brydy nuzzled my shoulder.
“Thanks for coming,,,.” I stopped her:
“No Brydy, it was no problem, don’t mention it,” I replied. Brydy hugged me. Or should I say hugged me as best she could. For Brydy’s quite a bit shorter than me. We walked back to the yard in silence. Brydy whispered:
“Beyancca, I know this might be too much to ask but could, could I spend the rest of the night at your place?”
“Of course you can Brydy, you don’t have to ask,” I replied. Brydy said:
“Thanks Beyancca, you see, I don’t want to be alone, by myself, you know.”
“You don’t need to justify yourself.” I reassured her. We crept back to my box, and after getting Brydy safely inside I closed the door gently behind us. After slipping the bolt back into place I took a last look round the barn to see we hadn’t left any tracks. Satisfied we wouldn’t be found out I settled down beside Brydy who had already sprawled on the straw. She rested her nose against mine. I thought it might be as a sort of reassurance that another horse, a friend, was there beside her. I fell asleep with my mind doing cartwheels.
“Who? When? Why? How? What?” All these questions raced round and round in my mind, disturbing my sleep to the point where I gave up. I shifted my weight off of my left foreleg which had become numb, and thought about what Brydy had told me on the track.
“Why do humans do such things to other humans? What beliefs merit others losing their lives? What gain can these humans get from what they did? Was there really a peace process?” All these questions and more disturbing ones flooded my brain and prevented me even contemplating sleep. I looked over at Brydy. I was startled to see her staring straight back!
“You haven’t slept well, have you Beyancca?” Brydy said. I knew this was more of a statement of fact than a question.
“No Brydy I haven’t. But what horse could sleep when faced with what you told me last night?” I asked.
“Look, Beyancca, I shouldn’t have said anything, I really should have kept my mouth shut.” Brydy said quickly.
“No Brydy, don’t be silly. You needed to tell someone, and it was better you told someone who would understand what you were going through,” I replied. Brydy thought for a bit:
“Yeah, you’re right B’, sorry for that.” She said.
“What’re you apologizing for? There’s nothing to be sorry for Brydy. Well not on your part anyway.” Brydy knew what I meant by that. I feel that humans who are violent to any other being be they other humans, horses, dogs or any other being with an intelligence have a great deal to answer for. Brydy rested her head on my shoulder.
Suddenly there was a furious banging on my door! I sprang to my feet and nearly kicked Brydy in the head as I sprinted to the door. Misty stood there! She was furious!
“Where the bloody hell’s that horse?” She snarled.
“What horse?” I asked.
“Brydy of course you bloody fool! Haven’t you got any brain?” Misty screamed. I remembered my box was dark enough for Brydy to be safe if Misty didn’t look to hard for her.
“She’s not in here.” I lied. Misty snorted:
“Well where is she then?”
“Surely I don’t know,” I replied. Misty snarled:
“If I find you’ve been harboring her I’ll, I’ll break every bone in your body!”
“Oh yeah yeah yeah, and that’s a joke I presume? Look Misty, why don’t you just push off before I do you for trespass, mmmm?” I asked. Defeated, Misty strode off in a furious temper.
I made quite sure she had gone before I returned to Brydy’s side.
“Thanks a million Beyancca! That was a fantastic bluff!” Brydy said.
“I didn’t want her troubling you Brydy. It was the least I could have done,” I replied. I felt Brydy trembling beside me.
“Are you scared Brydy?” I asked. Brydy rested her head on my shoulder once more and whispered:
“yeah, I’m really frightened B’!” I hugged her.
“Look Brydy, I’ll protect you, and I’ll get Chantilly and Jasper to help as well.” I promised.
“Thanks, but why do I feel so threatened?” Brydy asked.
“Only you can answer that one Brydy dear,” I replied. Silver came calling then. I felt Brydy stiffen as Silver banged on the door.
“Don’t worry, I’ll go and see.” I whispered. I looked over the top of the door and nearly missed the tiny horse standing there.
“Oh hi Silver, what can I do for you?” The pony hesitated:
“Um, er, can I, would it be possible if, can I ‘ave a chat?” She asked.
“yeah of course, but what with all the hesitation and avoidance stuff?” I asked.
“I’m nervous Beyancca.” Silver replied.
“You bet you are,” I thought. I said:
“Well come in, but don’t you tell anyone who you see, Promise?” I asked. I winked at the tiny creature.
“Oh you mean Br,,,,”
“Shut it you bloody idiot!” I hissed.
“Oh sorry B’.” Silver said.
“You will be, now get in here before I change my mind!” I snapped. I opened the door a fraction, Silver squeezed through the gap and joined Brydy on the straw bales. I closed, locked and checked the door before joining them.
“Don’t tell a soul, not even the doves or Polo. Especially not Polo!” I warned Silver.
“Don’t Worry B’, I won’t tell anyone.” Silver assured us. I replied:
“you nearly announced it to the whole stable yard.” Silver looked downcast.
“yeah I suppose I did. Sorry B’, and you Brydy. I didn’t think it was that serious.” Brydy said:
“Well it is.”
“What is?” Silver asked. Brydy sighed heavily. Silver snapped:
“’ang on a bit Brydy! I’m not a bloody mind reader!” Silver’s tone upset Brydy. She said:
“No Silver, I wasn’t sighing at you, really I wasn’t. It’s just all that’s going on at the moment.” Brydy filled Silver in on the situation in her country and the current disagreement with Misty.
“The stupid cow has blown this out of all proportion.” Brydy concluded.
“Yeah, sounds like she ‘as ‘n all.” Silver agreed. She shifted slightly.
“I’d better go.” She said.
“Remember, don’t tell a single person Silver!” I warned.
“I won’t.” Silver said sincerely. She squeezed out through the small gap I left between myself and the doorframe and disappeared. I looked back at Brydy.
“This is awful Brydy, how long will it go on for?” I asked.
“Until Misty gets her way,,,” Brydy pricked her ears, I did likewise. There was the sound of raised voices, Silver’s and Misty’s in acrimonious disagreement.
“Who were you talking to?”
“Noone, well Beyancca if you must know. But why are you,,,,”
“Don’t ask questions!”
“Why not I,,,”
Silver’s cry of pain as Misty clobbered her made my blood run cold! Brydy gasped:
“I’ll turn myself in, just don’t hurt Silver!” Misty obviously heard this and came bulldozing to my door.
“What was that?” She asked. Brydy kept amazingly calm and said:
“Don’t hurt Silver.” Misty went purple with rage!
“How? What? How the hell did you escape me!” She screamed. Brydy made her largest mistake then. Inadvertantly she looked my way. Misty saw this and guessed all.
“You lieing Bitch Beyancca! I’ll deal with you later! But first I’ve got some unfinished business with this, this dreamer!” Misty lunged at Brydy, took hold of her right fore leg in her teeth and dragged her squealing and yelping in agony, out of my box and into the barn. I watched helplessly as Confiada appeared from nowhere! She and Misty beat poor Brydy senseless!
“I can’t take on both of them!” I thought. Brydy’s cries of pain still haunt me now. Then Confiada came for me.
“Let’s deal with this bitch!” She said. I have never fought so hard in my life! The two horses kicked and bit me repeatedly. I had noticed they hadn’t bit Brydy. With her they only used their hooves to devastating affect. But with me it was different. They wanted to draw blood! I fought for my life! In the end Misty tired, but Confiada was still fairly fresh. She knocked me about a fair bit and managed to split the skin below my right eye open. The blood trickled down my nose and onto the concrete. I didn’t feel anything, I was too fired up with adrenaline. Confiada stood four feet in front of me, Brydy was sprawled a little to my right. Confiada panted:
“I’m gonna make you like ‘er!” She jerked her head at Brydy’s prostrate form. Someone said:
“Like bloody ‘ell you are!” Confiada looked up and screamed in terror! I whirled round to find the sunlight blocked by Jasper! His huge form filled the entrance to the barn and he was apoplectic with fury! I noticed Misty was prostrate on the floor where Chantilly had deposited her. Jasper ducked under the overhang by the entrance and came into the barn. I limped painfully back to my box. Jasper and Confiada faced each other across the same four feet of space that Confiada and I had fought on. Confiada gave up without a fight. Jasper was unimpressed.
“I wan’ you to fight me. I wan’a give you some of what you gave poor Beyancca and Brydy! They didn’t deserve that! I won’t ask the reasons for your “war” against Brydy and Beyancca, but what I will say is that we’ll have the truth out of you and Misty somehow, and it’ll be the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Okay Confiada?” Confiada spat on the concrete.
“I’m not gonna tell you nothin’!” She said hoarsely. Jasper showed Confiada his massive forefeet.
“You want to see the hind ones as well?” He asked. Confiada was actually quivering with fright!
“All right Jasper I’ll, I’ll come quietly.” She stammered.
“You don’t have much choice.” Jasper said.
Meanwhile the Manageress had found Brydy. She was so upset that she couldn’t deal with the situation. One of her members of staff called the vet. The vet seemed to take forever to arrive. When he did he took one look at Brydy and swore viciously.
“herd war I think.” The Manageress’s number two said.
“yeah, she looks like she’s been run over by a train!” The vet replied. He put drips into Brydy and managed to stabilize her. I limped out of my box and went to take a look at my friend. The vet looked up and saw me.
“You don’t look well either Beyancca.” He observed.
“I feel like crap,” I replied. The big difference between Brydy and myself was I was standing and she was flat out on the concrete under sedation. The vet made a quick examination and smiled!
“Fortunately for Brydy these Equine thugs were careful. They haven’t broken anything major. Only a cracked rib or two, and a great deal of bruising.” He announced. The Manageress risked a look at me. I could see she had been crying.
“I look worse,” I said. Blood had dried on my facial fur and I was bruised and battered. My right fore leg hurt like crazy and I had a large thumping headache. In short I had been stuffed! Jasper came to take a look. I saw him draw back in horror at the sight of Brydy with tubes and things sticking out of her. It seemed he could take the sight of blood, it was the unknown damage he couldn’t face. I watched in amazement as the large Suffolk Punch horse actually fought back tears.
“Why?” He sobbed. I had my own suspicions but kept them quiet. Instead I said:
“I don’t know Jasper, I really don’t know.” He came up close and touched my shoulder. I saw his look of horror as I flinched away from him. A bolt of pain had shot through me as he touched me.
“Don’t, Don’t touch me!” I gasped. I saw Chantilly out of the corner of my eye, she was lying on top of Confiada making sure she couldn’t get up. Misty was tied up with strong rope. Her forelegs were tied to her hind and the rope was then looped through a ring in the wall and tied onto itself. In short she had a little movement but not enough to cause problems for either Brydy or myself. The vet took the drips out of Brydy and four Lads carried her back to my box. The vet then took a look at me. He examined me carefully.
“A sore head, numerous strained muscles and one hell of a lot of bruising.” He concluded.
“Thanks,” I said. I limped back to my box and laid my aching body down beside Brydy.
The poor horse was drugged to her eyeballs. I knew the pain relief couldn’t last forever and Brydy would be in a lot of pain when it wore off. I heard the vet tell the Manageress to give her shots of morphine, that’ll do the trick. I watched my friend. Brydy breathed deeply and that was about all. Other than that she might have been dead. Other than her chest rising and falling, there was no sign of life. I laid my nose close to hers so she might feel my presence. I wanted desperately to burst into tears, but I knew Brydy could still hear everything. Using that knowledge I started talking to her:
“you all right Brydy? I suppose that’s a stupid question really. But you’re safe now, Confiada’s got Chantilly holding her down and strong ropes are making quite sure Misty goes nowhere.” I watched for a reaction. Now she was off the drugs, Brydy should start to come round. I looked at the stable clock.
“Three thirty Brydy,” I said conversationally. This was the type of useless info that really annoyed her, that was the idea. Brydy took a deeper breath than usual and swore in a whisper. The word she used would have been typical of Confiada, but hearing Brydy use them was strange. I looked down the barn to where the Manageress was talking with her staff. I wondered if anyone could help Brydy get over her ordeal. Suddenly I felt something touch my shoulder! I whirled round and was startled to see Brydy standing beside me. The pain in her eyes was pitiful.
“Brydy! What’re you doing standing up?” I asked. Brydy replied through clenched teeth:
“I’m not gonna, let, let Misty and Confiada beat me.”. I said:
“But Brydy, you’re in a lot of pain. I can see it.”
“yeah, too bloody right I am! But I don’t want morphine. No, no more morphine,” she replied.
“But Brydy, you’re in agony! If you want to beat Confiada and Misty this isn’t the way to do it!” I pleaded.
“What other way is there?” Brydy asked harshly.
“You let the Manageress give you another shot and you get better slowly Brydy. Not this, this isn’t the way!” I replied. Brydy moved slightly and grimaced with pain. She panted hard trying not to squeal. She recovered after five minutes or so and looked at me.
“Look Beyancca, I’m, I’m really sorry for getting you involved in this. Just look at you! You’re covered in bruises!” She said. I replied:
“No Brydy. I got myself into this. I went out looking for you because I was and still am concerned for you. I’ll take whatever comes my way.” I saw Brydy was crying.
“Hey Come on Brydy, don’t cry dear,” I said softly.
“I still feel guilty. I go off on my own after having a blazing row with Misty, You come out of the darkness having tracked me down because you were concerned for me, we go back to your box and you shelter me from Misty’s rage as long as you could, then we’re found, and, and we both get beaten up! You get a worse bashing than me and It’s all my fault!” Brydy said. She rested her head on my shoulder and wept. I let her get it out of her system.
After about ten minutes Brydy recovered enough to stand on her own. She was still in a hell of a lot of pain but she refused to be given morphine.
“you’re suffering Brydy. Why do you do it?” I asked.
“I’m fine Beyancca. I don’t want to use morphine to get better. Some other poor horse, in a worse state than myself, might, might need it,” she replied. I couldn’t help admiring her courage and told her so. Brydy’s reply was:
“Ah shut up Beyancca, you’re embarrassing me.” I laughed, now that is a strange sound.
“you’re wonderful Brydy!” I said. Brydy replied in her broad Irish tones:
“No mate, you’re the one who should be praised. You risked your life for me. How can I ever repay that?” She asked.
“Please don’t mention it Brydy,” I said.
“But I’ve got to repay you somehow!” Brydy protested.
“No! And that’s final. No repayment of any kind for anything Brydy!” I said firmly.
“Friends don’t ask why Brydy, nor do they expect or ask for payment,” I said. Brydy protested:
“But B’, you risked your life! Not twenty quid!” I kicked the door hard, making Brydy squeal in terror!
“Shut it before I get cross!” I warned.
“All right, I can see you’re serious.” Brydy conceded.
“Thank you. Now no more talk of payment, repayment, or twenty pound notes. Oh yes, and no talk of Guinness either. I hate the stuff!” I said. Brydy laughed:
“Cor’ haven’t had a Guinness in ages.”
“I hope you’ve never had one Brydy,” I said. Brydy was astonished by my lack of knowledge of Irish horses.
“You what? Yeah I’ve had Guinness. Wonderful stuff it is. Over here though, well they can’t brew it properly. Over here it’s wishy-washy and gassy, no good at all. The old test we used to use was this: If a horse could stand a straw stalk up in a pint, then it was proper Guinness.” Brydy said. She looked at me.
“You’re not laughing are you B’?” she asked.
“yeah! Oh Brydy, the thought of you with a pint of Guinness is enough to make anyone laugh,” I replied. Brydy smiled:
“I suppose it would seem funny to you English horses. But I’m not playing games, it’s true B’, we Irish horses drink Guinness and lots of it.” Brydy said. I suddenly felt a wave of huge affection for this intensely religious, intensely Irish mare. I looked over at Brydy.
“how’s things?” I asked. Brydy said:
“You know what B’? For a moment I’d forgotten the pain.” I felt a lump in my throat. It suddenly hit me how much Brydy meant to me. I rested my head on Brydy’s shoulder.
“Oh Beyancca! You’re a soppy thing.” She said.
I suppose I had better deal with those scoundrels named Confiada and Misty. Yuck! Brydy and I were having so much fun! Why did they have to go and spoil it? Well Chantilly and Jasper managed to drag a confession out of both of them. It appeared that Misty had been after Brydy for what Chantilly called sectarian reasons, and Confiada’s motive was contractual. She couldn’t swallow the fact I was better liked than she. Both horses had unreasonable grounds for complaint, if they had any at all. Poor Fleur was dragged into this also. She was made to tell her part of the plot.
Nervously she faced Chantilly and Jasper. She told her part of the story carefully and with great composure considering all things. She indited Confiada and denied any involvement in Misty’s plans. It seemed there were two separate crimes with two entirely separate motives. But the one thing running through both of them was a horse named Beyancca, yes me. Throughout all this the two accused horses stood watching impassively. They were guarded by two Field horses, who were strangely glad to do the job because, as Chantilly told them, it was in theory doing a disservice to a yard horse. Tell the Field horses anything and they’ll believe you, stupid idiots!
Then it was my turn. I was cross examined about my reasons for joining the yard herd.
“The Manageress signed me up.” Was my reply.
“Why was I better liked than Confiada?”
“Ask the humans,” I replied. I was asked:
“Why did I go after Brydy when it was clear the matter was none of my business?” My answer to that one was:
“Haven’t you heard of friendship?” This made Chantilly laugh. Funny I thought the trial team were meant to be impartial? I decided to ask Jinja about that one. The team’s final question for me was:
“Would you put your life on the line for Brydy again?” I replied:
”What a stupid question! Of course I would!”
“you’re a brave ‘orse B’.” Chantilly said.
“Pardon?” I enquired.
“Oh sorry, Beyancca.” Chantilly corrected herself.
“Showing familiarity with the witness are we Chantilly? I think we are, that’s got to be against the law,” I thought. The court then called the Manageress and cross examined her about what she’d seen up to, and during Brydy’s and my impromptu visit from the vet. It must have been strange for the Manageress to be cross examined by two of her own horses. She answered their questions calmly and truthfully. When Chantilly and Jasper came to events surrounding the peak of this mess, the Manageress became vague and distant. She obviously didn’t want to talk about what she’d seen. But Chantilly gently led her through it all, probing with care to get every single piece of information she could from the human. When the horses had finished questioning the Manageress she looked drained. As she passed me she remarked to noone in particular:
“I wish I’d never let Jinja watch The Client.” At that moment I couldn’t work out what the Manageress was on about. Then Brydy told me The Client was an American courtroom drama.
Confiada and Misty were found guilty and sentenced to a year and a half in the fields for plotting and attempting to kill two horses. I know this sounds harsh, and there were many horses who thought it so. But you must remember what crimes were committed. Confiada and Misty nearly killed two horses, a capital offence in anyone’s book, don’t you agree?
Brydy and I walked out of the hearing together. We had seen nakid fear and terror in the last ten minutes. When Confiada and Misty heard of their fait they reacted in totally different ways. While Confiada remained defiant till the last, Misty pleaded with Chantilly and Jasper for mercy. Of course she wasn’t going to get it. Mind you Jasper did suggest upping her sentence because of her plea for mercy. When the implications of this sank in Misty went quiet. Both horses were led away to begin their sentences among the Field horse herd.
The next day Brydy and I were eating grass in a field adjoining the road when we saw Confiada and Misty being chased by two very large and very angry Field horses. They didn’t seem to be enjoying it. I watched them go. Then I took a second look, at first I had no idea why I had done this. Then I realized with a jolt that put me off grass for the rest of the day, one of the Field horses chasing the two yard horses was Jamie!
So that’s it. In short, we’ve gained the smallest pony I’ve ever seen, Chantilly’s got hitched with the largest Suffolk Punch horse I’ve ever come into contact with, Confiada and Misty have been sent to the fields for a year and a half of hard life, I’ve lost Jamie my husband to the Field horses who now regularly chase Confiada and Misty round their field. To finish off on a lighter note, I know I’ve found a very good and faithful friend in Brydy, I hope I’ll be as worthy of her affection as I feel she is of mine.
All right, this is really it. I’m shattered! I can’t dictate any more, will that bloody typist shut the computer down? Oh no, he can’t. He says he has to copyright this story, whatever Copyright is. Oh dear, the typist is saying something to me:
“yes what do you want human?” I ask. The human says something about him being the author of the foregoing article, or some such rubbish. At the thought of losing my hard work to a human I Protest:
“What do you mean it’s your story? I told it!” The human talks about Copyright law and loses me on the second sentence. Ah forget it! See ya! I’m going back to the yard with Brydy, I can’t stand all this law nonsense. I’m going, good bye!
I, MARTIN WILSHER, here by assert and give notice of my right under section 77 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of the foregoing article.
© Copyright Martin Wilsher 1998-2000
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