Night of the Black Stallion
Claire dashed out from under the warm down sleeping bag waking me with a jolt. A full moon flashed like a beacon on and off as broken troublesome dark clouds sprinted across a rebellious looking sky. The calm sedate evening that I had gone to sleep with was now replaced with belligerent winds whipping a layer of dust and dirt over my face. A few feet to my right Claire’s braced rigid stance and barking turned into snarling rage. Flaring rows of clean sharp teeth appeared, letting me know we had trouble. But not until I heard the wild high-pitched squeal from the hollow distance did I know what was happening.
The flywheel on the ancient windmill behind us convulsed with dizzying speed spitting out water into an overflowing small round tank held together by rusty corrugated steel. The year was 2006, and I was 2000 miles into a 5000-mile single horse long-ride. As we crossed the high desert of NW New Mexico, Claire and I slept with no tent. I slept in my clothes and quickly slipped on my headlamp, grabbed for my boots, and yelled, "Claire NO. NO, Claire. Stay!"