The Arabian stallion is magnificent, and the mare quite glamorous, but the airy-fairy foal is so delicate and fawn-like, he steals your heart away!
– Gladys Brown Edwards, “Know the Arabian Horse”
Fiction met reality this week. Back in 2013, when I was writing Slow Ride Home, I had to name Ben’s father’s horse. Ben and his brothers, who had just lost their father, saw Ed’s mare as a living extension of their father, and were as protective of her as their father was, so I knew I had to choose a special name. I chose the name Miree. Because Miree was a special mare to my very good friend Becky — Becky, as you may remember from a past Pay It Forward Friday is the lady who convinced me to take my writing seriously and get it out into the publishing world. Who was my first critique partner. Becky breeds and raises Arabian horses, and Miree was a horse that was born back in 2005, long before I was published. Technically Miree is a nickname — her full name is Mireyenion TOS. (Like me, Becky is a huge Lord of the Rings Fan — Mireyenion is Quenya (elven) (like Marion, but mi like mirror. – Mirion-on) and translates as JEWEL OF THE AGES.
Miree at two (she’s the lighter colored one –more about her coloring here.)
Miree at four years old
This week, the real Miree had her first foal, mimicking the fictional Miree of my story.
(All the above photos are property of Becky Stanfield Burkheart of TOS)
It’s a little colt (boy), about whom Becky says “he’s already showing tons of attitude and temper. He’ll be one you can cross the mountains with once you get on his good side.”
So while I claim no precognition to Miree’s pregnancy, nor for having any part in this little guy’s birth, I will always hold a special fondness for him, whatever his name ends up to be. (Which I suspect may end up being featured in Wrangling the Past.)
The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears. -Arabian proverb
SLOW RIDE HOME
Copyright © 2013 by Leah Braemel
He cupped her jaw, the fierceness in his expression holding caught in his gaze. “Be strong. Don’t let anyone stop you from being who or what you want. Even me.”
Her breath hitched at his passionate reminder. It had been a long time since any one had believed in her like that. Fifteen years to be precise. Unable to deal with the emotions swirling inside her, she took his hand and dragged him down the path.
At the next pasture, three mares, one heavily pregnant, stopped their grazing to raise their heads and watch them pass. After ordering the dogs to sit beside Allie, Ben diverted from their path to call to one of them. “Hey, Miree, how you doin’, momma?”
The pregnant mare flicked her ears and wandered toward him. Allie never saw Ben reach into his pocket but he suddenly had a carrot stick in his hand.
“That’s my girl.” Once Miree had taken the treat, he lovingly stroked her neck.
Allie climbed onto the wooden fence and perched on the top rung. “I used to dream of them, you know.”
“Of the horses. Especially the foals, with their big eyes and the way they look at you as if they can see right into your soul.” Rather like the way Ben’s had just seen into her subconscious.
“I used to think the same of you.” Ben’s voice turned husky. He stood behind her, resting his hands lightly on her waist. “I still do.”
“Don’t.” Don’t tempt me to want a relationship with you again unless you’re dead serious. And the idea that she wanted to be in another committed relationship scared the living daylights out of her.
“Don’t what? Don’t tell you I loved you?” His thumbs slipped beneath her top and stroked her waist. “Don’t tell you I was planning on going into Dallas that weekend to buy you a ring? Or that I was fixin’ to propose to you?”
Her throat ached to hear his admission, and her knees weakened. Needing distance, she jumped down and stepped away. “Please. Just don’t. I can’t…I can’t deal with this right now.”
He cupped the back of her head until she tilted it to look at him. An intensity that startled her filled his eyes. “I would never hurt you, Allie. Not then, not now.”
“An Arabian,” said Joseph to Anna, “can be your best friend. He will not desert you when you need him. He will come to your call and be the wings that take you where you need to go.” ~ Dead Heat, Patricia Briggs