By Linara Kolosov.
“Good horse, Orka, good horse! Don’t worry, we will make our way back home!” Enar patted the scared young horse on the side and looked around. He had just come out of his night shelter. How clever he was, to stay the night in the depth of this ledge under the cliff. The land had fully changed its look through the night. The great yellow valley, covered with autumn dead grass and dry brown leaves had changed its color. He was looking at crystal white snow, shining under the bright sun like there were millions of silver pebbles scattered on it. He never expected to see this picture so early, and he had never been so far from his own village when the time of cold came. If he knew that it was going to happen, he would not have gone so far to hunt. Only one night earlier it would have taken little more than a single sun cycle to reach his home. And now, he wasn’t even sure that they would be able to do it at all.
The snow was still falling, and it has already higher than his knees. He decided not to burden Orka with his own weight. It wasn’t easy for her to go through the deep snow, and she had enough weight on her without him. His hunt was very successful this time, and lots of carcasses were hanging on Orka’s sides.
Enar’s father hunted all his life. One of the lessons he taught his son was to always have hunting tools, warm clothes, axe, flint, water, some bread and skis with him, especially when the cold times were close. It was the first time Enar really needed all these items, and once again he was proud to be his father’s son.
Enar had carefully packed all his things, checked his catch and, after a nourishing breakfast, started for home. He was sliding on his skis near Orka, trying to cheer her on the most difficult areas, but she was not used to going through the snow. So they moved even slower than he could predict. The first night was calm and not very cold. Enar was praying to Goddess Scadi to let them reach their home, where his small children, wife and parents were waiting for him with food for the beginning of Colds, which came so unpredictably early this year.
The snowfall stopped the next day, and it seemed like the warmth was coming back. But Enar wasn’t happy about the change. The snow became heavy and sticky. It was harder to move, even on his skis. He was always falling into the wet snow when one of his skis became stuck. Orka could hardly raise her hoofs. Every step drained the horse of energy, and she stopped to rest frequently.
“If we continue going that slow, Orka, we will be at home when the time of new life comes! We must try better tomorrow.” Enar was drying his clothes on the fire, after he cooked his delicious hare. He was talking with his horse, looking at the sky full of shining stars and thinking of his family and ancestors. At least they had enough food and plenty of water from melting snow. He believed that Goddess Scadi would help him, and they would be at home soon.
The next few days the weather was the same. The snow was melting, and they started to move faster. Their mood became better with every step, despite all the tiredness and wet clothes. Enar was cheering Orka all the time and was imagining how happy his children would be to see him. He made their last shelter, predicting to be at home not later then the sun would reach its peak.
That night was severe. It was a cold storm. The wind whistled, foreshadowing a very bad and hard day. Enar couldn’t sleep well this night, worrying about the difficulties they would have to face on their last pass.
When the wind lessened, Enar packed, and they continued on their way. Overnight, all the wet snow had changed into ice. The skis were skidding to the sides all the time and it was hard for Enar to keep his balance. He thought the ice was the worst that could happen to them. But it wasn’t the worst…
With every step, Orka left bloody drops on the snow. Sharp ice cut her legs every time she punched through the it. She was moving in great pain, but she didn’t give up, she was hesitantly moving further. Enar was looking at her with tears in his eyes, but he didn’t know how to help. After some time her movements were becoming slower and slower. She started to stumble and was close to falling several times. But she was fighting and steadied herself every time. She wanted to go home.
With the coming of dusk, Enar could see the native palisade. He got the second breath, feeling the warmth of his home. Orka was already very weak, she was hardly able to move. He asked her to wait where she was and skid alone to ask for help.
“Faster, Orka is dying! Take the sleds to bring her home.” He ran right into the first house in their village. He knew that he would find help knocking at any door there. They were going as fast as they could, but Enar could already see his brave horse lying on the dark snow. And all he was praying for was to come on time to thank her and to say goodbye.
The Goddess was benevolent to them, and Orka was still alive. They put her on the sleds and went right to their home. “Good horse, Orka. Good horse. You made it, we are at home.” Enar was crying and petting his courageous and faithful friend, when she made her last breath under the roof of their barn. They were at home.
I started to write not long after learned to read, but first attempts at poetry made only at the age of 15. Was always writing from time to time and only in Russian language, never considering myself seriously as a writer, so have received Bachelor degree in Finance and Banking.
One day my husband suggested to write a story in English, this moment served as a beginning of an incredible new stage in my life. Now I write every day and have no doubts about my life path.
I am also fond of painting and sewing, but reading and playing with my little sons and spending time with husband is my first priority. My blog linarakolosov.wordpress.