The famous “Avatar” greeting lines aptly described the bonding between Stella and her horse, Chytuk. Onlookers often wondered who took care of whom. Stella’s professional help met all comfort needs of Chytuk, who was adored by her with constant love-pats, hugs and soothing murmurs.
Stella was a skilled equestrian; maneuvering Chytuk in difficult show jumped through progressively complex and risky hurdles. The drills, the lessons, the techniques helped but what really worked was Chytuk’s constant care and vigil; every move in her body was vitalized and felt by the bearer of the sweet burden.
Chytuk, now in his prime, had a stormy past; harnessing disciplined freedom, constant alertness and a sense of community belongingness during his initial decade in the Wild West. Among the grass, sun’s warmth and plentiful water, he grew up under the tendering care of the elders. He knew fear from those dark eyes of furry packs and sensed the sadness of occasionally losing a fond elder.
One day Chytuk found himself, with his caring elder, in a closed fence and staring two-leggeds; his memory of being briefly chased, routed and then doused in a long painless sleep. Over the years, that became his home and the sense of fear and freedom of the wild disappeared in the “made-for” surrounding.
And this winter, housed in a warm stable, he had his known elders with him, the stately Silver and the mighty Black, as he snorted away with them happily, awaiting Stella and the feel of her warmth and gentle nudging to take the leaps.
“Humans , as the two-legged call themselves, have this annoying habit of possessively naming and tagging; they just can’t be happy with knowing and feeling.” Prompted Silver, “They are big story-tellers. Silver, you are a kin to Shadowfax of the mighty Gandalf, while Black, you have pedigree of Secretariat, the famous racehorse; I’m the wild one.”
“You are the lucky one to have Stella and her family; we have seen love and trust in her eyes; we all can sense that behaviour without really needing to know the person.”
“At first, she was afraid as I was wild; she would patiently wait, touch and talk. We went for long walks; just being with each other. Every time she was happy or sad, she would come to me; I could sense what she felt.”
“You feel like a human.”
“Humans are restless. They mix horse blood with their blood and experiment; they modify and find new species; one day maybe they will create a Centaur; I long to be that creation.”
Chytuk’s strange comment echoed his inner desire; a passion that only a human mind had dared; a deliberate change of given forms; an urge to be free ……