Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Strongest Thing in the World

"The night of Cisco's demise Bloodworth had been trying to keep a mare and the stallion apart. He had penned them in separate pens. Between the pens and joined to them on either end was a barn with a sloping tin roof.

Sometime in the night he woke to bedlam. He could hear a voice screaming, dogs barking madly. He jumped out of bed and ran into the moonlit yard. The stallion was screaming and thrashing about inside the barn. Bloodworth saw with a stunned disbelief that the stallion had climbed a stack of haybales at the end of the barn and somehow managed to clamber onto the roof; the tin and two-by-four lathing had not held, and the spotted horse had fallen in a jumble of tin and broken lumber. The horse looked like a unicorn struggling to free itself from a snare and he saw with horror that a sharp section of rotted lumber had imbedded itself in one of the horse's eyes like a horn. He'd struggled in the darkness dementedly with Cisco trying to remove the splintered board until he finally noticed that one of the stallions front legs was broken and he gave up and went to the house for his gun.

What the spotted horse had done awed him a little. He thought then and he thought now the cry of flesh calling to flesh must be the strongest thing in the world."

from Provinces of Night
by William Gay

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