I’ll pick up where I left off last…
Enos leaned against the stall door and did what he did best. He waited and watched the fidgety beast with the foul temperament pace the small enclosure. The animal snorted as if to warn him to back away.
He would of course, do nothing of the sort.
“Come now, am I that frightening? Look,” he murmured, “how big you are and so grand.” He kept talking as he slipped the bolt free. “You are powerful, yes? And I am nothing to you.”
The horse whinnied and so Enos stopped. “This small space, it’s not to your liking?” He took a smooth step closer. “You are, perhaps, more accustomed to open fields and your family?” As was he and damned if he didn’t miss his wife and his children.
He held out his hand and waited. The horse would either take the invitation or pin its ears. Either way, he’d have more information. Did the animal come from a place of fear or aggression?
He had his answer when the creature backed away.
“Non, this is no good. You are afraid! D’accord, I will have courage for the both of us. Come,” he lowered his voice, “we will go outside and away from these fearful place.”
Enos snapped the lead rope onto the halter and led the skittish beast outside. It seemed gain confidence as he put the noisy, bustling barn behind them. He kept walking, leading the horse as if it were the most natural thing in the world and for Enos this was; he’d been handling farm creatures his entire life.
“We go,” he said and clicked when the horse balked at a crude tent erected near the stables. This horse needs to learn everything and in only a few weeks! Mon dieu…
“You are young, but smart,” he assured the creature and smiled when he felt it begin to lower its head. “Each day will bring adventure, sometimes too much. Still we must face those times together, oui?” He started off again and felt every jolt that ran through the horse with each stimulation it faced. Still, Enos knew the animal needed to learn to use its mind, not its instincts if they were to survive the war.
“Ho,” he stopped the horse at a small coral. Here, they’d do the hard work. Here they’d learn to trust. And maybe, if Enos was lucky, he wouldn’t get hurt…
He stepped inside and unclipped the lead rope. The horse gave a buck and began running around the pen. That was fine, just fine. An observer may have thought the man in the center of the ring was out of his mind – how could he look so comfortable, so casual even, while this mad horse bucked and heaved and frothed as it ran around and around?
Enos knew what he was doing. Only when he saw the horse drop its head – a signal that it was relaxing, did he turn his back to the creature.
The response was instant. He smiled when the horse nudged him from behind. His smile widened when he began walking, oh so casually and the horse followed, though he’d not attached the lead robe.
“Bien,” he said and gave the horses’ neck a rub. “You need a name,” he glanced down and broke into a full on laugh. “Ah, my friend in the stables was wrong. You are not a ‘he’ at all. D’accord, I shall call you Lizette.”
As Enos continued to rub the animal’s neck, he thought of all the work still to do. Lizette would need to learn trust to get them through the battles they faced. Sadness and fear flooded his mind and worry for his wife and children. Just how in hell would they survive if he were to die in this war?
“You will see us through, comprende? You must, Lizette,” he whispered and an unimaginable ache filled his soul.