Author Topic: Gypsy’s Trial  (Read 927 times)

Offline MidnightZodiac

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Gypsy’s Trial
« on: January 05, 2013, 08:27:55 PM »
Basically, it's just a warning about eating cheese before bedtime.... >319<

Gypsy’s Trial

Sue served up a wonderful salad for tea last night, complete with a generous helping of my favourite cheese, Wensleydale with Cranberries. But later, after she had already gone up to bed, I noticed that there on the cheese dish, was just enough of the Wensleydale to make a sandwich. Now I know that it’s a little foolish to eat cheese at bedtime but that that little wedge called to me time and again, till at last I succumbed and made it into a late night snack.

By the time I climbed into bed, Sue was just laying down her book and turning out the light, and after saying our goodnights, I fell almost immediately into a fitfull sleep. Suddenly I found myself in a vast circular chamber, unlike anything I had ever seen or even imagined before. The walls, ceiling and floor were all made from the same shimmering opalescent material, but there were no joins or angles, everything flowed in curves like it had been moulded from a single sheet of material. Behind me I could see that there were semi-circular tiers, like a giant stairway. These too were made of the shimmering material, all the more unusual by the fact that there was no supporting structure, just the tiers, arranged in such a way that those who sat., or stood on them, could get a good view of the rest of the chamber that stretched before them.

I was standing on a raised dais, to both my left and right was another, both equal in size to mine, but ahead of me was one that was much larger, one that would give a commanding view of the whole chamber. These four podiums were arranged around a pool of crystal clear water that, while reflecting the shimmering of the walls, seemed to have a light source at its very heart that constantly danced. The motion of the water split the light into two or three continually changing pale rainbow colours which lit the surface from below. This dream was getting seriously weird and I was beginning to regret having that cranberry laden treat, and though I didn’t know it at that time, it was going to get far, far stranger yet…

Without warning, and in the blink of an eye, the tiers behind me were suddenly filled with horses, horses of all shapes and sizes. Some breeds I recognized immediately, there were shires, shetlands, warmbloods, even the odd fjord... Some of the other breeds escaped me, though I felt deep down that I should have recognized them. Among this crowd, was a lot of shuffling, mane tossing and snorting, but suddenly they quietened as one. On each side of the chamber, through doors I hadn’t before noticed, came a piebald mare. The one I to my left I half recognized, but the one to my right I knew immediately… It was Minstrel, a little mare I had cared for years ago, until she passed away. At that time she was continually lame, her legs giving her so much unbearable pain that we simply had no choice but to lay her to rest. Now though, she was fit and strong and as she mounted the right hand dais her coat glistened and reflected the light that played around the chamber. The mare on my left I thought I recognized as one that I had lost through the most pitiful of circumstances… Circumstances that I had hoped I would never have to live through again. As she drew closer and mounted the left hand dais, I could see that indeed it was her… Gypsy was back.

After what seemed like just a few seconds, I saw the head and shoulders of a magnificent golden palomino mare as she mounted the largest of the four columns that surrounded the pool… This was obviously someone rather special, for every horse in the place took up a respectful position, including the two pies that flanked me… So not wishing to appear disrespectful I lowered my head too, which was just as well, for this was no ordinary horse, no horse that mortal eyes will ever see, for this in reality was just one of the forms taken by Epona, goddess and carer for all creation’s horses.

The atmosphere in the chamber was electric... Every horse strained to see and hear Epona for they loved her as much as she loved them, and even though I wasn’t included, I could feel the affection that filled the room… Suddenly she spoke, addressing the crowd in a language that I too could understand; she told them that I was here to face charges drawn against me by Gypsy for failing to care for her during her time on Earth… My heart raced, I had never knowingly been cruel to any animal, let alone a horse... it was the last thing I would ever have done… Epona went on to state that I was to be defended by Minstrel… who would do her best to speak for me, although under horse law, I would of course get the chance to address this ‘court’ myself at any time, if I so wished.

Epona, now in her role as judge, gave Gypsy the signal to start her case, and the role of the pool now became obvious… as she spoke it showed the story of her life in perfect detail. We saw how she was born into a group that used her in trotting races on hard tarmac roads, we saw the large amounts of money she won for her owners, and we saw how the constant jarring damaged her hooves and legs till she could barely walk... then we saw and heard her owners plan to have her covered to produce another foal that would grow with it’s mother’s talents. There was a slight tremor in Gypsy’s voice as she recalled how she was mated with a stallion she neither knew, nor liked. All the time the pool showed her kicking and rearing as she tried to refuse him, but it was to no avail, her owner and other humans tied her so that the stallion could do his job.

Following that, she went on to tell how her foal started to grow inside her, till one day she was aware that it was no longer moving. We watched the pool as she tried to tell her owner of her worries but he ignored her until the day when he finally realized that all was not well… He knew at that time Gypsy was going to need expensive veterinary treatment to help her but he was having none of that, so the next time his family moved, he merely left her tied to a tree..  Gypsy’s next scene showed her a couple of years later, but by this time a wreck. She was permanently incontinent and in pain from her incomplete pregnancy. Some humans tried to help, but she reared and kicked as they approached… She had had enough; there was no way any human was getting near her again…  Then the picture changed again, and I recognized myself holding her by a lead rope, as she stood quietly, having been tranquilised beforehand. Then I saw my vet injecting her, and watched her slip into the arms of Epona, where pain and suffering for horses simply don’t exist… Then I saw myself drop her lead rope and vanish around the corner of the barn… “There you see...” her voice boomed... “He didn’t even have the decency to bury my body, just left me where I fell… “
"We shape horses, then they shape us, but, we must be what we want our horses to become."

Offline MidnightZodiac

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Re: Gypsy’s Trial
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 08:31:04 PM »


At this point Minstrel, who had quietly watched the story unfold, told Epona that she had no questions for Gypsy on her tale, and asked that Gypsy’s next witness be brought on… Epona nodded her consent, and I was dimly aware of murmurings of condemnation among the horses that had assembled to watch my trial. So Gypsy summoned two New Forest ponies, who were so alike they could have been twins. After bowing to Epona they started their tale.

The pool took us all back many years to a horse sale in the city. The two ponies, who had a rather annoying giggle and a habit of finishing each other’s sentences, showed how they were freshly brought up from the New Forest, excitedly wondering what new home they were going to go to. Then I appeared as a young man, just out of my teens and full of ideals; hoping that I was going to change the horse world and make it better. But then the pool showed me offering someone money for the ponies, but he refused… “Yes” said one of the ponies; “He wouldn’t buy us…”the other interjected, “And we were taken to a slaughterhouse…” said the first... “Where we were killed….” Then jointly they said “He is responsible for our deaths”… Ending their solemn accusation in a fit of giggles…

At this point Epona decided that the giggling ponies had said, and showed, enough for us all to get the point, and they were dismissed. Until that moment I had never truly realized how one’s actions could affect so many other lives, and I had almost convinced myself that, despite all my years of caring for horses, my neglect had indeed killed both the ponies and Gypsy herself. Perhaps this would be a good time to throw myself on Epona’s mercy. However, all was not lost as Minstrel took up her duties as my counsel for the defence…

“Of course” she started “All that you have seen is true… “ “This human did indeed leave Gypsy’s body where it lay, and true enough he didn’t buy the two ponies and save their lives…”… “But, I will show that humans are not always as they seem.”
For her first witness she called Peanut, an elderly chestnut pony that I had nursed years ago… As Peanut’s image appeared in the pool, we could all see that at that time he was not a well horse…. “Friends” he said “What I tell you is true, this human watched over me as I passed away.” “I was suffering from what the humans call Cushings Disease, but this human cared for me, making sure I was as comfortable as possible… Look as he puts his arms around my neck as whispers that he wishes he could take my pain away.”
Sure enough that image was shown in the pool. He continued “And this is the day I finally came to live here among you...”
The pool showed me buying treats on the way to the farm, and Peanut enjoying a last mouthful of mints as his life was ended with dignity. Then the view changed to a close up of my face; to my embarrassment I could see tears rolling down my cheeks… I could still feel them stinging as I stood there accused of not caring enough. Lastly the image changed to me driving my old car home through the city, sitting in traffic, my vision still blurred by the tears of Peanut’s passing.

Once again there was turmoil among the audience, it was not unusual for two completely differing tales to be told in the horse court, but both were telling the truth. It was going to be a hard decision for Epona to make, was I or was I not guilty… But at that moment Minstrel spoke again. “If I might just make one more presentation...” She said “My own story of my last few months with this human…”
Before Epona had a chance to deny her, Minstrel approached the pool and began her tale. “What happened to me before I met this man…” she started “Is completely irrelevant. So I will ignore that part of my life, just believe me when I say that my legs were almost useless, I was hurting in every step, yet despite my age and condition, this human and his friends tried time and again to heal me.”
The pool showed our vet working on Minstrels legs, trying combinations of medicines to make her pain free, but to no avail... “Here I am on his farm, where I am allowed to spend my last weeks wandering where I pleased”
The picture changed to me, taking a dressing down in the office for allowing a loose horse to go where she wants. ”Even though it made him unpopular with the other humans, he put my feelings and needs above their wishes…”
“He told them that even if it cost him his position as manager he was not going to make me spend my last weeks confined to a stable…”
The crowd was silent now. “Look, how he comes to find me carrying my feed, and dragging my water butt, so that no matter where I went, I was never hungry or thirsty…”
“He did this for me, right up to the time that I came here... And you know I was never frightened or lonely, for he made sure that I was always able to visit my friends in the yard, and when they were out at pasture, he would give up his breaks to seek me out and share his lunch with me…”

At that point Epona gently nodded her head toward Minstrel “That’s enough.” she said quietly.  “I have seen more than enough to make a decision on the fate of this human.” 

With a sudden flash, the chamber disappeared and we all found ourselves in acre upon acre of lush green grass and vegetation, criss crossed by tinkling streams of crystal clear water. There were, it seemed horses in every direction as far as the eye could see, but I still found myself facing Epona with the two pies flanking me.

Epona turned to Gypsy and started… “I was impressed with your evidence Gypsy, you did indeed prove all that you set out to, but let’s have another look at your tale…”
Once again the story started to visualize, but this time in thin air in the manner of a hologram. Sure enough there I was again with Gypsy, but this time it was told from my point of view. It showed the sleepless nights that I had trying to think of ways to get through to her, it showed the times that I and others had risked our lives trying to handle and calm her while she lashed out with teeth and hooves, and at the very end it did indeed show me disappearing round the barn, but once again there were tears in my eyes. For in my heart I knew that whatever had happened to Gypsy was so bad that even with all our love and care we simply couldn’t get through to her.

"We shape horses, then they shape us, but, we must be what we want our horses to become."

Offline MidnightZodiac

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Re: Gypsy’s Trial
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 08:35:05 PM »


“Yes Gypsy” Epona whispered. ”He did indeed leave your body, for he wasn’t one of those allowed to operate the huge machine needed to bury your mortal remains, and he had to leave that sad duty to someone else… After all, humans have laws in the same way we do…”
Gypsy’s head bowed low, she was humbled by what she was learning…
“And look” Epona continued,” Here he is again at the city sale, trying to buy the two ponies, but the man who owns them says that he doesn’t have enough money, and refuses to sell.” “He knows he will get a better price from those that deal in horse flesh, and money is really all that he wants” “But here is the accused, driving away in his vehicle and trailer, angry with himself for not being rich enough to afford those two darling little ponies.”

“You see Gypsy; this trial was not really a trial at all.” continued Epona.
“Here in Trapalanda, the heaven for horses and those that love them, it is important that all hatred and animosity is left behind, or we simply cannot progress.”
“During his short time with you, this man and his friends called on me several times to help them get through to you, but all I could do was to hope that their patience and passion would guide them, and it nearly did… At the end of your life you were so loved, but you were blinded by hatred and couldn’t see what was being offered to you.”
“So, when I thought you needed help to release the resentment you still bear, who better to enlist than the last human you ever saw… For he was the target of your anger…”
 By now Gypsy’s head was almost bowed in shame, for she realized that being consumed with hatred and rage was no way for a horse to live.

“Now” said Epona, “There is another matter we have to discuss, the future of your foal.”
“As you know, he was here awaiting you when you arrived, but he has never had a name of his own, which he needs to progress…”
Epona gently pushed Gypsy’s head in my direction, “Look” she said “Your foal and the human are already playing chase across the grass. Look how he isn’t bothered by the foal’s nips and how they laugh together. See now how the other unborn foals clamour for attention and wish to join the game.” Finally she added, “Perhaps he would accept the honour of being allowed to name your foal.”

So Epona explained how after all I’d been through, I was really only used as a focal point to help Gypsy rid herself of her anger, and feelings of hatred toward humans. And I was most honoured by her suggestion that I be allowed to name the foal, that for so long had been held back by its mother. An idea entered my head almost straight away, and with Gypsy’s agreement, I named the foal Orion, after the mighty hunter whose constellation guards the winter skies. Immediately the foal matured before our very eyes into a magnificent and majestic coloured stallion.  Gypsy was so proud of her son, and her eyes were moist as he nuzzled her, then galloped away across Trapalanda’s green pastures to start a herd of his own… Gypsy wandered away, in her heart she knew that she had finally done the right thing for him, but the pain was just as real and she still hurt.

I turned to Epona, “If I may ask of you, will she be alright, and will she ever see him again?”
“Yes, she will be fine, there are many souls here who will help her through her loss. It is something that all mares know they will have to bear when their foals mature, or are taken and sold… But as for whether she will see him again, that I can’t tell you… But I will say this, eternity is a long time, and while Trapalanda’s boundaries are endless, I’m sure their paths will cross at sometime.”
“But now she is feeling the freedom of no longer carrying anger and hatred, and she can start to help humans with problems in the same way you’ve helped her. She will enter their dreams, perhaps to advise, or just to give comfort to the frightened or lonely…”
“Horses and humans are two species joined by one spirit… This is the way it has always been and always will be…”

And then as if she could read my mind, she carried on, “And have no fear for the future of those horses that were never named, nor the foals that were never born to your world, for there will be countless other humans, at other times, who like you, will be chosen to name one, then that foal too will give up childish ways and take on the responsibilities of adulthood…”
“Those that give of the horse are rewarded in ways that they can’t even begin to imagine…”

Slowly she turned to Minstrel, who had asked if I would remember any of this, “Oh yes,” she said “He will remember everything, but he will believe that it is all in his dreams… As will the others who are brought here to help horses with problems. But for now we must send him back. Though I am sure that one day, when his time is come, you will all meet again. But then, I think, Gypsy will for the first time, be pleased to see a human…”
"We shape horses, then they shape us, but, we must be what we want our horses to become."