As published June 25, 2007
He flares his nostrils, tasting the air for all signs of predator. Nothing. And yet there is something. A faint wisp of current that whispers to him. Flee. Run. Chase the wind. Tossing his head, he challenges the silent voice with his own certainty. There is nothing there. The wind picks up in a burst of hot, dry air and swirls the dust through the field before settling once more to stillness. Picking up a striped hoof, he bats at the ground impatiently.
Another toss of black and white mane sends the ear gnats and deer flies dancing into the air only to settle back to their morbid feast upon his hide. He feels little of it. Ears flicker back and forth as though in command of their own fate. All is as it should be. He is still for a moment longer and then a spasm shudders through the great collection of bone, hide and bunched muscle and he bursts forth, lifting legs high, holding his head upright as he continues to sample the close atmosphere with alert senses. With the thunder of each hoof small clouds of dust are churned to life, scattering out behind him. The pull and stretch of muscle pushes him into the bright daylight at a terrific speed and his herd members lift their grazing heads in instantaneous alarm. He flees.
Leader of the herd. Mighty stallion. The call has been sounded and they must follow. The single patter of four hooves becomes the roaring drum of hundreds and the field transforms into a flowing river of browns and blacks and whites and roans. The small puffs of dust become huge columns that obscure the fleeing charge and as the great band of horses crest the distant hill and plunge beyond its horizon silence once more comes to the still afternoon.