Horse Lord

Photo: Mongolia; Anudariya Munkhbayar on Unsplash


The floods had culled the herd. The fires cleansed the land of dead, returned the grasses to the dirt, where bones lay, staring at the sky, unbleached. They will not be interred.

A falcon soared above their heads. It dove and disappeared, its freedom deferred, its sight hidden under the dark small caps it let have drawn over its vision in a servitude preferred.

The stallion whinnied. The yearlings, cocky and too young to know better, had cantered up ahead. They stopped at the sound of his impatience and turned about as their obedience stirred. But the mares and foals kept close on dancing legs. The smell of smoke still in the air rendered them simultaneously docile and quick to bolt, their reason blurred.

He knew why that was. The two-legged that had fled, have returned. And the smoke curling from the nostrils of their leather dwellings rose, awakening dread.




For What Pegman Saw: Mongolia



23 thoughts on “Horse Lord

  1. The reality of life on the steppes, painted with a writer’s hand. I love that *nostrils of their leather dwellings*. Their yurts fascinate. Such a simple design, yet clever, and within 2 hours collapsed and loaded to move along.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Crispina! Yes, the Horse People of Mongolia highlight – as do others who found purchase and thrive in a seemingly unforgiving land – the amazing resiliency of life. My friend and her companion stayed with them for a week some years back, a sort of collaboration where they helped with the transfer of the camp in exchange for food and lodging. They were absolutely floored by the culture, the spaces, the grace, the creativity, the children’s skill and the gentleness toward the young and old, their connection to the land. She is partially First Nations and this was deeply meaningful to her as it felt as if this was probably as close a glimpse she could get into the ways her ancestors had lived, even if in different clime and continent.
      I’m glad the short piece spoke to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Janet! I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for reading and commenting and I hope you ‘come visit’ again. I’ll be checking out your blog – writing and beaches being immediate ‘hooks’ for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Na’ama

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really interesting horse eye view there. Liked the interaction between the younger, flighty horses and the older, steadier ones. I works really well. And that sense of dread as the two legged ones return – cracking. Great read Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lynn!
      I love horses, and this seemed the natural setting for them, who are in some ways the ‘real’ lord horses of the steppes. As for the two-legged ones … some of them seem to want to bend the horses to their will and not let them run free and lock their heads into some contraption … The horse lord in the story does not wish to defer to anyone, and the mares have learned that two-legged mean wariness in him, which translates into danger … (oh, and those two legged eat horse, too…).
      Lovely people, the Mongols – but for some wild horses, the tension of cohabitation must’ve been real …


  3. A stark emotional glimpse into life on the plains for these once-wild beasts, battered on the one side by the floods and fires of nature and pushed into docility and servitude on the other by the two-legged.

    Liked by 1 person

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