It wasn't long before I realised how much I needed a herd. I was a responsible young stallion, but only the ones with herds could become stronger. And the day I realised it, I found my very first member.
She was graceful. She only looked a year younger then me. Her features were soft and elegant. She carried a brilliant chestnut colour, and a long blaze on her face, with four socks. If only she was alone. She had two stallions cornering her, each arguing over which she was going with. I got closer to hear the argument.
"She's going with me!" one stallion, an angry bay demanded. The other, a grey, whinnied, and stamped his hooves into the ground.
"No, she's going with me!"
"I'm not going with either of you!" the filly said angrily. Both stallions shushed her with fake caring motions, and went back to yelling at each other, until the grey reared up, and smashed his strong hooves into the bays head. He fell to the ground with a weak moan. Then, attention was turned to the filly.
"Let's go back to my herd now, sweetheart." the grey stallion said smoothly. The filly snorted.
"No!" this angered the stallion, and he hit her. I whinnied loudly. That was no way to treat such a beautiful filly. I galloped into the scene, rearing at the stallion.
"Leave her alone! She deserves to make her own choices!" I said angrily. The stallion reared up to fight me, and I stood back.
"Coward! You expect to tell me what to do and you don't have the guts to fight? Act like a stallion! Bring it!" he whinnied. I winced, and looked at the chestnut filly. She was frozen to the spot, breathing heavily, giving away the fact that she was frightened out of her mind. I winced, and opened my eyes. I had set out into the world looking for a legend, and this would have to do for now. I reared up, and began to fight the stallion. He was strong, and obviously he had been in many fights. I targeted his sides, slamming my hooves, and biting at his neck. After a while, I got used to it, and knew what I was doing. I kicked the stallion's neck and he fell to the ground. Before he could get up, I reared over him. He rolled out of the way and galloped away. I snorted, and turned to the filly.
"Are you okay?" I asked her. She nodded her head, not so frightened any more. I wanted to have this beautiful young horse in my herd, but after what she'd just been through I decided to leave her be.
"Have a good day." I said simply, trotting off. She whinnied.
"Wait!" I stopped, and looked behind me. "Can I come too?" she asked hopefully. I realised she was scared of more stallions like the grey trying to take her for their herds, and knew that leaving her out here would be reckless. I nodded, and she galloped to my side. It took until night, but I bought her to where I was staying for the moment, and she neighed in surprise.
"You're alone?" she questioned. I nodded.
"For now. I'm mainly trying to get herd members for the moment." I told her, stretching my neck down to get a mouthful of the fresh grass beneath me. She grinned.
"Well you have a lead stallion and one filly, so that's a good start. How long have you been out here?" she asked. I finished the mouthful of grass I'd picked up.
"Four days." I responded. She made an 'ahh' sound, and leaned down to get herself some grass. I turned to her.
"So, what's your name?" I asked.
"Burn. What's yours?" she responded.
"Challenge." she stopped eating. She looked at me.
"Wow. Nice name. Did you pick that yourself?" she asked.
"Nope. It's just what I got saddled with. Did you chose yours?" she shook her head. Then, she looked around.
"Where's your water supply?" I snorted, remembering how thirsty I was from fighting, then galloping. I directed Burn to the water, and we enjoyed getting a quick drink, then splashing in the cold water. As we headed to bed, I heard the story of this beautiful filly.
"When I was born, my father hated me. He wanted another colt. So, he left the herd and I lived with my mother and my brother. My mother was the lead mare, and as my older brother, my brother was next in line for leader. My brother was a good horse, but one night he took off and we never saw him again. In his absence there were attacks from other stallions. We lost a foal and two mares. I feared I was next. And though it pained me, five days after I turned three, I left my herd, and my role as the new lead mare behind. Which sucks because rumour has it that my brother came back. I just can't find my old herd. I've been living on my own, fighting hiding and fleeing my way around the world's dangers. But now, I think I'll join this new herd."
It shocked me to hear such a history.
"Oh!" she said suddenly. "You need to name your herd. There's Night Herd, Fire Herd, Wolf Herd (who are the only herd at peace with wolves), Death Herd, Miracle Herd, Green Herd, Aqua Herd, Breeze Herd, and the Cimarron herd, which as everyone knows, is lead by Spirit. Geez, so much information about one horse, it gets so boring, don't you agree?" she asked. I nodded.
"That's why I left my herd. I was sick of hearing about Spirit's legends, so I went out to get my own." I told her, placing my head on the grass. "Goodnight." I said quietly.