The Dancing Horse
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Miskeen was born in obscurity on a Russian farm, sold to a traveling circus, and earned a reputation performing in small towns in the 1980s. He was schooled first as a liberty (rider-less) horse and then as a “dancing” (dressage) performer. Dancing was what he did best, and he was often observed trotting on the spot whenever he heard music. He matured into a magnificent, highly trained and valuable animal. But then tragedy struck.
Confined in his stall after an exhausting day of performances in unbearable heat, Miskeen was spotted by a boy. The boy took up a training whip and beat the horse mercilessly until, in panic, Miskeen struck out. The boy was bitten severely, and, in retribution, Miskeen was ordered to have all his teeth pulled so that he could never “turn vicious” again. Suddenly the magnificent animal was disabled, humiliated, unable to eat, and totally worthless to those who had prized him.
Miskeen would have died, had he not been rehabilitated by a young British woman named Vicky Malia. He recovered, eventually rewarding his new owner with private dance performances. It seemed he still had an ear for music and a memory of grander days. Miskeen is dancing still.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
- Tundra, June 2009
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