Rain: My Story
My Story, a Story of Hope. Of Courage. Of Love.
Chapter 1: Life as a Lakota
I've always loved my life. I've been… free, and at the same time, not free. Life went pretty smooth for me as a Lakota warhorse. Everything was usually the same around camp-peaceful, enjoyable, happy, until we had a battle or were raided. All that happy stuff was quickly replaced by violence and sorrow. Most of the time, we were lucky and escaped the battles alive. However, every now and then, something terrible would happen, such as a fellow warhorse or a human would be taken hostage or killed. Those were sad times. Most of the time I wouldn't have to worry, though. My rider, Little Creek, and I, never really had much of a problem. We were both still young and inexperienced, so we were not put in vulnerable positions during battles. We really never had a chance to show off our courage…our strength, skill, passion, and honor. The chief soon realized this and took an opportunity to send us on a mission. A mission that could prove fateful.
I'd always known the tribe was low on supplies. We were growing bigger. More horses were captured or came to the herd. More humans were born. The buffalo herd had moved further away and sooner than we had thought, leaving the tribe stuck in the middle of the grasslands with little food. I never realized exactly how bad off we were until a bright sunny morning.
"Rain," A soft voice whispered. I lifted my head and nickered back to Little Creek admiringly. The boy stepped up to me and stroked my soft, velvety muzzle.
"Singing Storm has decided to set us out on a mission." Little Creek told me, his voice almost shaking with pride.
Singing Storm? Singing Storm was going to set us out on a mission? Singing Storm was our chief, and normally only chose his most trusted horses and riders for missions other than hunting. I nudged Little Creek, willing him to continue.
Little Creek smiled, the early morning sunlight bouncing off of his chocolate brown hair. "He has chosen us, along with Black Stone riding Broken Cloud, and Small River riding Pure Blossom, to raid the military's supply wagon. We'll finally have a chance to prove ourselves, and bring back food for the tribe at the same time."
I whinnied happily. We'd both waited for this moment. We would honor our tribe and I would spend time with some of my closest friends, Broken Cloud and Pure Blossom.
I swiveled my ears to prick to my left as hoof beats headed our way. I turned and nickered a greeting as two horses and riders walked up to us.
A handsome dark grey stallion tossed his head and touched his muzzle to mine, exchanging a breath of greeting. "Hi, Rain." The stallion whinnied.
"Cloud." (We called him 'Cloud' for short. Broken Cloud was a lot to say at times) I neighed, happy to see him again.
Cloud was actually a very talented warhorse. Usually he was always goofing off- a typical stallion. But when in came to carrying his rider into battle, everything was serious for him. He was very responsive, responding quickly to his rider's every command. Black Stone was his rider, and they understood and respected each other.
I let my gaze slip from the gray stallion with three horseshoes painted on his shoulder to the bright chestnut mare beside him. I greeted her as well, dancing in place, eager to set out on our mission.
Pure Blossom (Or Blossom as we called her) was truly a beautiful horse. Unlike Cloud, she and I had been raised as tribe horses. Cloud had been taken in as a wild colt. Blossom was very outgoing, loving to run and always dreaming of the day she could serve her tribe. Today was that day.
Little Creek spoke a moment to the two horses' riders, Black Cloud and Small River. He then turned to me, grabbing hold of my mane and swinging onto my back. His hands stroked my soft painted body. I snorted and tossed my head, eager to get going. The other riders had mounted their horses as well, and we set off at an easy lope in the direction west of our camp, heading to the supply wagon.
It seemed like it took forever to reach the huge wagon loaded down with food, blankets, and everything else those humans think is so necessary. Little Creek dismounted me and told me to stay in the cover of the woods with Cloud, Blossom, and their riders. He crept up silently to the wagon, and he reached out to open the back door. He glanced around to make sure he was alone, and his hand touched the wagon's handle. They slid over the dark wood as he pulled, and the door opened up. Little Creek nodded to us and jumped inside. I turned to Blossom, my eyes shining. "He's going to get it." She nodded and whinnied happily. "We'll all be-"She stopped as Cloud cut her off, snorting nervously. I jerked my head up, focusing my vision on the supply wagon.
Two military men jumped out from behind the wagon and jumped at Little Creek. My Little Creek. My rider. My human. I opened my mouth to let out a whinny of despair, but was shushed by Cloud.
"Stay quiet so they don't get us too! We've got to stay alive so we can rescue him!" The dark grey stallion whinnied urgently.
I nodded slowly and uncertainly as I watched the two men drag the young Lakota warrior into a giant wooden fortress. Were the men dragging him to his death? My eyes grew wide as I watched them disappear. I hung my head in sorrow as I realized I might never see him again.
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