Pulled up short by these most unexpected sights and feelings, he took great breaths of the light and pure air, realising that by some sort of miracle, he was no longer afraid at all, but happy in the light of the moon and he looked up to the glorious stars, snorting in the cold air so his breath formed clouds, he stamped his hooves and arched his little head back high under the heavens…and all around him there glowed a great light….
He began to walk slowly through the forest, revelling in each enchanted snowflake and the filigree of the frost and the way his breath held frozen in the air … celebrating in the divergence of the paths around him, as he picked his way through the forest, confident in his passage as it was lit by tiny fireflies and a curious light that moved with him.
And then suddenly all the nocturnal woodland folk came out to play by the light of the galleon moon, the rabbits, the stoats, the badgers, the bats, the voles, the owls, the deer and most important of all, the great White Stag.
Stumpy was very afraid, as the Stag, who was rumoured to be emperor of all the forest, approached him, but the Stag said “Be not afraid for it is I who should kneel to you this night. For this is Christmas Eve, the night of the Wild Hunt, but your spirit has becalmed the forest and the blizzard, as was foretold and the muddy one would become great.”
Well, Stumpy did not really understand what was going on, but was very relieved to be in the company of the other animals, who accompanied him through the forest, along a path which was fully and brightly lit as day. When they reached the edge of the forest The Great White Stag said “For now we part, brave little white horse, but for ever you have the run of the forest and the fields.”
He left and at that moment dawn began to approach with its rosy fingers and the first shafts of light pierced the darkness of the night’s velvet cloak and the little white horse returned to his field.
Where he was met with great joy by all the other horses, including his mother, who said to him: “Stumpy I was so afraid, I worried that you would not be able to see in the forest but I can see that you can see clearly now.”
Over the next year or so, Stumpy began to grow and whilst he still ran away to the forest every day, he began to known for his courage and kindness to all the other animals, especially the little baby ones in the forest. If anyone was lost he had an uncanny knack of knowing how to help them find the best way home, if anyone was hurt, he would find them help, if thirsty, lead them to a stream, if lonely, play with them. Already loved, he became almost revered, but Stumpy did not notice anything about himself as he was so absorbed in the forest, the forest dwellers and his family in the fields.
But from time to time he would ponder to himself, “What did the Great White Stag mean when he said ‘For now we part?’…”
IS IT THE BEGINNING?
HAPPY NEW YEAR!