Faith’s eye exploded but she probably didn’t know, except for the pain that a ruptured eye must cause.
The eye – her right – was already gone. The dull smoke-gray orb did little more than indicate where sight once was but had long since gone.
The weeping organ washed her cheek so that it was soaked with discharge, but despite blinking it closed and wincing as it shut, she carried on as she always had – eating, seeking new things to eat and ensuring she wasn’t left too far from her bonded pasture mate, Grace.
The two horses came together. Faith, a short, fiery and explosively fast quarter horse, Grace a giant slow but overly sympathetic and love-filled clumsy draft horse. They met in a shared stall at the Gleason, Tennessee, livestock auction the week before Christmas 2021. Both were several hundred pounds underweight, sickly and weak. Their skin hung from their bones, which were plainly visible, yet their hair moved and wavered because of lice, which are usually unable to take ownership of an otherwise healthy animal.
Neither were strong, but scared and likely sure of their death. The late-night trek to the ranch on a two-hour ride maybe too much for either, but they had no choice (neither did we if we wanted them to live) and, without being dramatic, they were short-timers otherwise on this side of heaven. But the Lord had other plans.
Where Grace is docile and warm, Faith is everything but. Faith is fire, Grace is warm. Faith is short-tempered, Grace even-keeled. Faith is fast, unbelievably so, while Grace lumbers and runs stilt-legged on rear hips that seem uneven and misaligned.
Grace is sighted and confident. She is content and glad to live – she often attempts to do so in the rear pocket of any of us who enter into the barn.
Faith is half blind and was half confident. But Faith also is all survivor.