We have been building up to this scene, and finally Pegasus has broken free from the carousel. It was a good life for him, but a limited life, a life limited to running in a frozen posture as the pole that ran through his heart lifted and lowered him to the music, and the children climbed onto and off of his saddle. It was a life devoted to giving pleasure to thousands of children and their parents, but it was not his true mission. Now that he has been freed from the brass pole and the merry-go-round, he must submit to the realities of life as a mortal. Even though his body remains tiny and wooden, he must hold fast to his vision of himself as the spiritual mentor of the little girl Karen, who rescued him and whose mother now holds his life in her loving hands.
Scene 05: Mama Meets Pegasus
In the garage, Karen watched Mama stare down at Pegasus and realized how tiny he was—just her Kitten size, even shorter than Mama. He did not speak but remained silent, like an ordinary horse except for his small size, extraordinary coloring and wooden appearance. Then came a long, thoughtful silence.
“So, this is Pegasus,” Mama said. “He’s very pretty, isn’t he? May I touch him?”
“Yes, Mama, but remember to be gentle with horses.”
Karen watched as Mama smiled and slowly stroked his mane. She ran her hand over his back. She slipped her thumb into the hole where his pole had been and rocked him back and forth. He shifted from side to side with her push and pull, and his eyes moved nervously.
“He’s too big and heavy for you to have carried him home, isn’t he?” she asked.
“Oh, yes, Mama. I actually rode him all the way from the far end of the pier to our driveway.”
“Without any help? No one carried you in a truck?”
“No, Mama. When I could not see into the hippodrome, I walked to the end of the pier. I followed my intuition, Mama, like you always say, and it lead me there after I looked for him everywhere else on the pier. I called his name into the wind. Somehow he heard me. And just earlier today, the workers who were dismantling the carousel had removed his pole so he could put his feet onto the ground. Or, I mean they didn’t intend that, but it let him get his feet on the ground so he could run. Later, one of them left a door open, so when he heard me call his name, he could escape, and he did!”
Mama jerked her hand away from the hole and glared at her thumb. It was stained purple.
“He’s hurt. How did this happen?”
Karen looked closely at his back. In the dark, she had not seen the circular wound. It was bigger around than a silver dollar.
“It’s where his pole went, Mama. I didn’t see it outside in the dark, and he didn’t say anything. I mean, I really didn’t notice.”
Instinctively, she lifted her weak left hand with her strong right. She placed them both over the gaping hole, the left directly on his skin and the strong right on top to protect the weak left. In her heart, she felt pain as if she had been run through by a lance. Her eyes rolled up, and for a moment, she felt her knees give way, but then a deep feeling of well-being pushed the pain away, and she regained her strength. Opening her eyes, she saw that Mama was holding her.
“Did you just faint?” Mama asked. “This horse business is too much for you! It has to stop!”
Karen squeezed Pegasus’ back, the wound on his back, with both her hands and pulled herself up to her full height.
“No,” she said. “This horse business is just beginning. It’s healing me, and it’s healing Pegasus.”
She lifted her hands from her horse’s back and gently removed Mama’s hands from herself. She could stand tall on her own. She pointed to the wound, and as they stared at the hole in the horse’s back, it closed and healed except for a lavender scab and a drop of purple ichor.
For a moment, Mama froze. A cold chill ran down her back, undefinable, but she understood more deeply than before. Her sixth sense enlightened her as she touched the crust with the tip of her finger.
“He looks like he’s going to be all right, but I’m not so sure about you. Let’s just keep an eye on this wound. He can stay in the garage for tonight, but tomorrow we must start looking for a stable straight away. We can’t leave him here for long. It’s just not good for a horse. He needs food, water, and proper shelter. Plus, he needs a place to roam.”
“I know, Mama. I completely understand. I feel the same way. I’ve thought about that myself. As much as I love having him close to me, I know a garage is no place for a horse.”
“Why don’t you come inside, now, and have your dinner, Krana Layala? You can tell me all about your day, and we can decide on the best way to take care of your horse.”
As Karen followed Mama out of the garage, she looked back at Pegasus and wondered if Mama really were okay with her bringing him home, especially after that long period of silence and the cross-examination.
After all, it’s not like I brought home a stray kitten or puppy. This is my spiritual mentor.
©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.