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.
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