Webster the Manx cat stood on the wooden fence staring into the enclosure. His body shook with a spasm of excitement. He wanted to leap down from where he perched on into the enclosure and join in the fun but something stopped him. He is the CEO of a blogging company and it would be absurd joining in a race of horses and dogs. What if paparazzi were hiding in a corner waiting to let their shutter click as he frees himself
He waited for the galloping horses and running dogs to reduce to mere throttle before he called their attention. He had come for a horse.
The horse stood out from the rest with its majestic mane and swooshing tail. Oh dear, if only he has a tail as majestic as that, Webster said to himself. He didn’t have a tail by the way so even if wishes were horses, there is no way in God’s good earth that he will get to ride on one.
The two horses within the enclosure noticed Webster after a while and made their way towards him while being trailed by the dogs. Webster waited for them to get really close before he flashed an ID card showing his smiling face.
“Who among you is Luke?”
“That would be me.” The cream-colored horse answered. He came closer to the cat and nudged him with his wet nose in greeting.
“That’s great! Someone called me; says he is your friend. He wants your story out for the whole world to read.” Webster looked at his dark grey coat and suppressed the urge to run his tongue over it.
“I made lots of friends since coming here. Hey guys, come over let me introduce you to this Manx.”
Luke called out to his friends.
The other horse and three dogs came closer. The dogs were panting and throwing glances at Webster. Webster only looked at them from the safety of the fence he was perched on. He was not sure if they were eyeing him to be a snack. Newfoundland dogs have fierce demeanors similar to African lions Webster thought to himself.
“Who amongst you called me?” Webster didn’t wait for an introduction.
The dogs looked at themselves and back at Webster. A large Newfoundland dog came forward am Mister Moose a common Office Newf. I thought I should tell Lukes’ story of being recused from a life of common labor!” It didn’t matter to Webster though. If a call came through for a job, it means the story has to be very important.
“Okay… You can go back now. I need to have a one-on-one time with Luke here.” Webster said dismissively.
He watched the other horse and the dogs go back to continue in their games.
Again he wished he could join them but he came for a job and he has to do the job. Harvey had gone for another interview else he would be the one conducting this one.
Webster: “Well Luke, I’ve got my recorder ready and your interview started the moment you came here. I have also taken pictures of you when you galloped against the wind with your mane flying in the air. The photos will come out great.”
Webster: “The Newf who called me said he couldn’t stop crying when you told your story.”
Luke: “Oh, I know now. Mister Moose was laughing so hard he cried. He finds my relationship with cats in the barn amusing. I spend the most evenings there with Tug Boat, that horse over there.”
Webster: “What is your story then? I want to hear it too so I can judge if the tears shed were due to your remarkable love of barn cats! Was it that you have chosen this lifestyle or were you born that way? Was it a lifestyle choice?.”
Luke: “Well, I don’t know about loving barn cats as a lifestyle choice. What I love most are fig newtons. I can eat those all day if given the chance.”
Webster: “That was an expression.”
Webster: “Well, Luke. Tell me something about you.”
Luke: “I was given birth to on an Amish farm in Northern Indiana. Life wasn’t pleasant. As soon as the farmers over there felt I was strong enough, they took me away from my mother. They said horses that could stay longer with their mothers end up being bad horses.”
Webster: “What happened after that?”
Luke: “I was made to do all manner of farm work. I was hardly tended to as they were more interested in how many ridges I could make in a day. The work was hard and dirty. I spent most night nursing my pain and hoping that I would be allowed to express the fire that was burning inside of me.”
Webster: “What kind of fire?”
Luke: “It is an expression, Webster. But unlike you, I will explain what I mean by the fire burning inside of me. I knew I was cut out not just for farm work. I wanted to feel the wind in my eyes, my heart and my hooves thumping the ground galloping instead of pulling a plough.”
Webster: “And you get to do all of that here?”
Luke: “Of course. I pull carts containing little implements once in a while but most time, I am allowed to gallop within the yard with my friends, Tug Boat, Moose, Molly, and Maddie. I wonder what would have happened to me if the Blonde Master of the Herd of Newfs hadn’t rescued me. I wouldn’t have made all these friends and school children wouldn’t have come around bearing apples for me. I miss the school children that came to me in the field I lived in before. But now I have barn cat friends in a fine five star Hamilton County barn.”
Webster: “That means you’re happy here I believe.”
Luke: “I am satisfied. I tell stories almost every night to the cats in the barn and listen to their own stories too. Stories of the adventures Tug and I had to escape the fence at the school. Great adventures in the neighbors’ yard and raiding their gardens. I also share stories of my encounter with wild dairy cows. I was able to look them in the face and live to tell about it when on one of my constitutional I found them in one field over. I also get to laugh at Tug Boat every single night when mice come creeping out of their holes to listen to my stories. You know, Tug Boat literally shakes in his hooves when he sees them.”
Webster: “That will be all for now Luke. Now I think I’m about to cry. Take two steps back and raise your left hoof up. I need to use a majestic picture of you when posting your story. I want the world to see that hope can literally burn out of a draft horse.”
Luke: “Wait… So I am a draft horse… Wow… I have spent all my life thinking I’m a racehorse.”
Webster: “Well, dear Luke, if you believe it… You can achieve it… Now say cheessseeee..!
Even though Webster did not tell Luke, his story inspired him to go out there and gather the stories of other animals. Everyone has a story to tell, everyone’s life is a lesson to learn.