Her will to live

To the Editor:

I walk into the barn, knowing and expecting the worst, yet I am unprepared for what my eyes are about to show me. Standing at the stall door, I watch them take off her warm thick blanket, only to reveal how bad this creature has been treated. No living thing, especially one of such innocence, should look as this poor animal does.

Her uneven sorrel coat is like a map of jagged mountains and low valleys. Each bone within her looks as if they want to rip her open and break free from the hide that holds them beneath. With her head held low, she stands there with exhausted eyes that tell me of the strength it takes to live, to even stand. Fragile is what comes to mind when I watch her slowly move about her stall. Not even able to lay down for her fear of not having the strength to get back up.

I run my hands through her thin mane and along her spine, feeling each vertebra without the slightest pressure. After everything this poor girl has had to live through, she is so sweet and loving. Gently, I rub my hand along her small neck and whisper the words that have been running through my mind since the second I saw her "I am sorry this happened to you, I am so sorry". She then lifts her head to my shoulders and nuzzles my neck. As I rest my face against hers, I have so many mixed feelings. Anger because she and so many others were left uncared for by their owner, sad that one could even live with themselves after doing such a thing and relief that she was found before it was too late and is now being cared for in a clean barn with plenty of food and water.

Looking into her weak eyes, I see a helpless horse of only 7 years old who only a week ago, was 48 hours from death before anyone did anything.

Over time she will gain her strength and be a healthy horse but her past will never be forgotten. I fear that there are many more animals out there right now who are slowly dying from the cold and starvation, ones that no one knows about and will never come to find until it's too late. The world we live in is a sad cruel place and it makes me sick to my stomach when innocent animals, who depend on humans to take care of them are wrongly treated.

This mare is a great example of what it takes to survive and how hard we must try to keep standing when life gets hard. When I look at her, I see a weak, exhausted and unkempt animal, and at the same time, I have never set eyes on a more beautiful, strong creature in my entire life.

Now she is a true picture of someone who has the will to live!!

Vanessa Bedor,

Age 15

St. Johnsbury, Vt.

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