GOLD story writing by Caity

JUNGLE HORSE by Caity (year 5)

At the beginning of time, human and animals lived together and there was no difference between them. Cat, Horse, Human and Nature, even Summer and Winter all had spirit all had soul. The ground was thick with undergrowth and always fresh to eat, the river always had clean water to drink. They stood there. Tall, proud, and majestic, manes billowing in the wind. Grey, white, brown, orange and black, pawing the ground. For years they lived in peace with the other jungle animals. The toughest of them all. Guards of the greenery that was their home.

BUT LION TRICKED THEM.

She chased away one foal, out into the darkness, the world…  The horses reared when they found that their child was gone and tucked their one remaining child deeper into the bushes, cursing Lions name. But they never forgot.

Far away the woodcutter hurried home. He and his snakes could sense the approaching tsunami. He looked up the huge hill and towards safety. A black coarse bundle was lying there on the floor, half covered in vines. Without thinking, he scooped up the scrap of fur and carried on onwards until he was back at the cottage, perched on top of the tiny mountain.

Safe home at last they stored the wood, sang songs about his brave ventures and unwrapped the tiny blanket, cautiously.

Two eyes, jet black like the darkest horse.

Hands, fingers reaching out.

Hair, the most beautiful shade of red.

A child.

For 12 years they had longed for a child.

They made her a light coat for the summer storms.

They made her a necklace of smooth diamonds, washed up on the shores.

They sang to her songs of monkeys, lizards, jaguars and eels but most of all he loved hearing about the great horses.

For 12 years they held her close. She loved the songs and the gifts. The language of the creatures.

 

 

She barely got scared, often stayed calm. And always the tiger watched over her. It was the end of her 12th year. She saw in the mud, laying there, a small shard of ruby, and then, a meter away, another. She picked it up and as she looked she saw a trail leading further into the distance. Swiftly she followed it, grabbing each on as she went. At the end, shining red as blood, a segment of fire lounging on a tree root, the biggest and best yet. As she bent down to pick it up, in pounced the tiger and snatched it away in her teeth.

Tiger ran over the moss, the length of 4 trees, then stopped. She dropped the treasure and it lay like a miniature version of the sun on the lush grass. The girl moved to take it and in ran the tiger. It became a dance. Girl and Tiger. As if enchanted by the tiger’s game the girl let it lead her further into the jungle and away from home. It was a while before the girl looked back and realized she was further down the hill she had ever been. The tsunami was coming in. Water lapping at her feet but not stopping. She saw the ruby and made one last desperate grab.

She realized there was nothing more she wanted than to head home. Desperately she looked up into the maze of thorns, and to the top of the mountain. She headed up but had no clue where home was. She walked up still clutching her jewels.   The sun set, then rose, then set again. She walked but the trees became too similar and were impossible to tell apart. She sank onto leaves covered in water from the tidal wave. Stars started to fill the sky. She lay uncomfortably and a weary sleep came over her. It was then that they came for her.

She heard them. The hooves galloping along the uneven ground. She looked around. All around it seemed the greenery had come to life. She realized it was then she must meet her end.  She reached out and as she did her treasures spilled on the ground. As the horse breathed in her scent she heard a faded whisper “brother”.

The woodcutter followed the trail of the girl. A shift in the mud here, a mark of a footprint there. He came to the place the girl had sunk to her knees and saw the marks of chaos where the steeds had first appeared. He made a promise that he would kill the horse that had kicked his child so hard.

She clung tight to the silver white creature as they ran like the wind over the rough terrain, singed with sunlight. Above, the glossy stars shone down.

They came to a place a hill of rock. As the girl tumbled to the floor the hill raised its head. A giant of a horse. Midnight black fur, eyes dark like a piece of coal. Cuts from predators marked her face.  As she reached out a hand to touch the great mare breathed in her scent.

This was her daughter. Her stolen child. She buried her face in black fur and breathed in deep the rich scent of her mother and the memory of the herd so long ago came flooding back.

 

All the while the woodcutter drew closer. Maddened by sorrow he followed a trail of dropped ruby, until at last he came to the gathering. He ran into the ring of horses and raised his poison-tipped axe ready to strike a killing blow.

Near the group, Tiger growled. The girl looked up to see her farther and the axe. She flung herself between the man and the bear. Tiger’s shriek shattered the spell of bloodlust. The woodcutters axe slammed on the hard green as he scooped up the child. Around the 3, the dull horses galloped, staring, waiting for a symbol from the great she bear. But in never came. She rose, knelt before the woodcutter, and praised him for the effort he had put into to care for her daughter. Now she was home, she would stay with her people, the horse people. In turn, the woodcutter went onto his knees and thanked her for the care she had given his daughter.

The girl stood between the man and the horse, water flooding in.

She felt that her heart was torn.

She wanted to stay with the horses.

She wanted to go with the people.

The child ran a bare hand over her fur coat. “I will stay with the horses in the Winter, when the logs burn on the fire and her hands wore mittens.” Her father held back a sob in his throat, eyes hot with tears. “and I will stay with the people in the Summer” the girl said “we can go exploring together and hunt.” The horse breathed a deep breath over her daughter and she felt her shape start to change. Her hands became hooves, her legs got longer. Together they carried the woodcutter home through the watery greens.

From that day she lived as a horse through the Winter and as she grew she learnt the ways of the horses. In the Summer she lived as a human and told the humans tales as they trekked through the jungle. In the Winter his human mother would hang her coats by the fire and tell herself tales of her daughter. The horse and the human. Out in the greenery the great silver horse would raise her head and give a whinny that melted their hearts.

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