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The Horse The power of sacrificial love and the strength in a name.

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Synopsis

The donkey has always felt less significant than the self-important race horses, until a purebred white horse comes and tells him he is to race. He is in fact a horse and always has been. The white horse gives him (and all the horses who will listen) a new name, along with his own rosette that guarantees entry to the winners enclosure. On the day of the race the course and the fences are not what they had imagined and some horses loose courage and revert to their old names and natures. But all who fall find that they have fallen at a winning post because of the gift of the white horse’s rosette.

Downloads

Download 'The Horse' in pdf format - The Horse in pdf format (on request only)

Download a special version of the abridged 'Horse' story in pdf format - Special version of the abridged Horse story - The abridged version removes references to the other horses names. (on request only)

Download a special version of the abridged 'Horse' story with powerpoint click points in pdf format - Special version of the abridged Horse story for use with the Power Point images - shaded words are cues for the Power point clicks (on request only)

Power Point images that accompany 'the Horse' story - Power point images to accompany the telling of the abridged version of the horse story is available on request

Download 'Questions for Reflection' in pdf format - Questions for Reflection
This is a resource to help you think through the issue raised in each of the stories. You can use the questions for group discussion or to reflect on by yourself.


Presentation

Word count : 2,514
Est. read aloud time : 17 mins 30

Martin Day (and his dog) Go to 'The Dog' Read about the author I'm Martin Day. Please contact me about anything on this site. I will reply personally. email Martin Day

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'The Horse'                by Martin Day

The horses galloped at speed around the field, jostling with each other, manes flowing across their shoulders.
         "Out of our way, donkey" they shouted as they swept past.
The donkey stepped back obediently and continued to watch from by the hedge. These were important horses; race horses. The light was starting to fade and the clouds glowed brightly on the horizon.
        "It's time to go back now," the donkey called as he turned back through the gate.
He started to trundle down the stony lane that led back to the stables. Moments later the others clattered up behind him.
        "Hurry up Plodding-Donkey." panted ‘Up-with-the-Joneses’ breathlessly.
        "Let us go first," added Silver-Spoon. "Remember your place."
They all had fancy names, like race horses do. But at least they talked to the donkey. He may not have been important like them, but he'd rather be on the fringe of their social circle than alone.

They soon arrived at the stables. Each door had a brass plaque above it with a horse's name on. As they passed each horse turned into his own private stable: ‘Proud-Heart’, ‘Silver-Spoon’, ‘Up-With-The-Joneses’, ‘Shame-On-You’, ‘Top-Marks’, ‘Guilt-Trip’.  Finally at the end of the block was the door to an unnamed stable. The donkey had to share with whichever horses were passing through. He trotted in thinking that he would have the place to himself tonight, but to his surprise, at the back of the stable, was a large pure white horse munching on some hay. The donkey gasped! He had never seen a white horse before. It was beautiful. Its legs were long and slender, its muscles perfectly defined, its mane rich and full. Although the stable was dark this new visitor seemed to glow in the half light.
        "I'm sorry," said the donkey. "I didn't know you were here."
He could see straight away that this powerful presence was built for racing. He knew that race horses were prized animals and always had their own stables. ‘Shame-on-you’ had often told him that he didn’t deserve his own stable. So even though this was his home he felt uncomfortable, like he shouldn't really be here. Maybe this stable now belonged to the white horse and no one had told him. ‘Guilt-Trip’ always said that if he stepped out of line he would be punished. He politely retreated back out of the door.
        "Don't go! I hope you don't mind me sharing with you."
The donkey was more startled still. This beautiful racehorse even seemed considerate of his feelings. He wasn't sure how to respond.
        "Please join me. I've been waiting to talk to you."
This was very different from how the other horses treated the donkey.
        "Why would you want to talk to me?" asked the donkey curiously. He plodded confidently back into the stable. He was becoming more at ease without even noticing.
        "I have good news for you: There’s racing tomorrow,” said the White Horse with a sparkle.
       “Is there?” said the Donkey. “The other horses will be pleased. They live for racing.”
       “But this isn’t just a run around the paddock,” said the White Horse, “this is the race of your life!”
He looked directly at Plodding-Donkey.
The Donkey was suddenly embarrassed by the misunderstanding.
       “But, I'm not a horse,” he declared.
       “Really?” the White Horse looked doubtful. “What's your name then?”
       “Plodding-Donkey.”
       “Is it really? Who gave you that name?”
The Donkey was speechless. This was quite the hardest conversation he'd ever had.
       “The other horses did, didn't they?” suggested the White Horse. “And you believed them.”
       “But I am a donkey.”
He was confused now. Although he had always longed to run with the other horses, this was surely a case of mistaken identity.
       “You are a horse and you will run tomorrow.”
There was a long silence whilst the words sank in. The Donkey was gripped by conflicting emotions: first, excitement and hope. This was all he’d ever wanted to hear. But then, fear and dread. He had never run in his life. He had always accepted the scorn of the other horses, but if he dared to believe the White Horse he would just humiliate himself.
       “Would you call the others? I want to speak to all you horses,” requested the White Horse.
       “Yes sir, of course.”
The Donkey took off immediately, galloping the length of the stables, shouting excitedly to the other horses about the visitor.
       “There must be a mistake,” said Proud-Heart. “I can’t believe that anyone important would visit Donkey.”
But he came anyway when he heard there was to be racing.

When all of the horses were assembled, the White Horse explained about the race. There were some questions from the horses. There was much to take in for them. One thing they all recognised was that the White Horse spoke with authority. He was clearly a race winner. None of them had ever met a horse who had actually won a race before. The White Horse had a bright blood-red rosette in his mane with the word 'First' across the centre, so there was no doubt.

... to be continued!

        The rest of this story is available on Kindle, both individually and as part of The Animal Parables collection (paperback to follow later).
Use the links (left) to buy from Amazon.

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© M Day 12-July-2007

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