This is a summary of the life of a wild mustang mare named Shera.
My mother was the lead mare in my herd. She gave birth to me several weeks ago, and I was still learing how to walk and gallop. My mother told me stories about my father, like how he stole mares from a thoroughbred farm in Phoenix and galloped faster than the cowboys chasing them. She speaks of him all the time, she made him seem like a god.
My mother always reminded me that I was an important member of our herd, and that I should learn how to follow orders of the stallion. When I was weaned, a new colt was born in our herd. A panick was started to train him to become the stallion when he grew up.
I grew up constanly hearing, "You must always listen to the stallion. Do whatever he says, even if it costs your life." The social code for our race is so tight, sometimes you want to just start running and never stop. Us mares were never given a chance to prove ourselves, even at birth we have a strict destiny. But I was different. I was the one that wanted something better for us. And I wasn't afraid of what the stallion could do to me.
My story begins after the colt has grown into a stallion, and taken control of our herd. He lead us then, galloping for our lives after the new stallion sprung a trap set by farmers...
I leaped over a log, fear creeping up my spine. I heard frantic screaming from the slower mares as the cowboys drew closer. The young stallion galloped next to me and asked cheerfully, "Hey, wanna race me?"
I snorted loudly. "Now's not the best time!!"
He tossed his head. "Suit yourself!!" he called. He picked up his pace and pulled out in front of me. Anger burned deep in my heart, and I wondered how he could be so immature. He was only six months younger than me, but he acted like a weanling. He was so frustrating, I felt I could lead our herd better than him. But the mares wouldn't listen to me, so I just galloped like everyone else.
After the cowboys captured some mares and left. I trotted through the herd asking if anyone was injured. There were a few sprains, but nothing that required serious treatment. I returned from the damage run, and cantered up to our stallion. He was lazily lying in a patch of morning sun. He lifted his head as I aproached, and called, "Hey Shera!! Wow, that was a good run!! I should try stealing mares from that farm again!!"
I gritted my teeth, and replied, "Only you could seem so happy after that. Not all of us appreciate having to flee for our lives in the middle of the night!!!" I turned and walked away, listening to him rant.
"Well, Shera!! You seemed fine with it!! Why are you so angry?" He galloped up behind me, and started circleing me. "Come on, don't be like that!!"
I rolled my eyes, and replied, "Will you ever grow up Radke?"
He smiled and reared. "What do you expect? I'm just the awsomest stallion there ever was!!" He landed with a thud and galloped to the herd. I watched him go, a strange warm feeling growing inside me. His black mane whipped in the wind, and his buckskin coat shone in th morning sun. I could see why all the mares couldn't stop staring at him, he was drop dead gorgeous!! If only he could be responsible, then he would be the perfect leader.
I galloped to my best friend Zamanon (Zee) at the watering hole, and asked, "Zee, can you tell me what Radke was doing on that farm anyway?"
"Well," Zee replied through mouthfulls of water, "I heard he was trying to steal the farmer's big black mare. You know, the one that has to be put in the special corral because she can jump the other ones? Yeah, that one. He almost got her too, until the farmer got up to fed the chickens and saw him."
My heart sank a little. Zee asked, "Hey, something wrong? You look sad."
I quickly shook myself to get rid of the dismayed feeling. "Nothing's wrong Zee." She stared suspectfully at me through her pony-like fetlock, and looked away. "What?" I almost shouted. I sighed and asked, "Well, there has been something bothering me..."
Zee leaned closer, "I'm listening."
I whispered, "Have you noticed how much Radke hangs around me? Like, he hangs around all the mares, but he seems to always go to me after. Why is that?"
Zee sighed. "We all hoped your mom would have told you this- the stallion will usually choose the most beautiful mare, and make her his lead mare, like your mother was. You are that mare for Radke, and come the end of this spring, he will want you to carry on the herd."
My jaw dropped. "You don't mean, that?"
Zee nodded. "That's the responsibility of the lead mare, to please the stallion. At least, for the first time. After you, he can do all the other mares."
I was hardly breathing. Trying to take in the fact I was born to be an immature stallion's toy was overwhelming. Zee laughed, "You think you got it rough? All the other mares would kill to be in your position. As long as the stallion hasn't done the lead mare, he has to protect her. Because if she dies or gets captured, the stallion has to either find her, or wait until the next year to breed."
I scowled. "How is that comforting?! Besides the point, how does he figure me the most beautiful of all the mares? I think Shiea comes before me."
Zee snorted. "What, that chesnut paint? She has a very sour temper, and that doesn't sit well with Radke. And you do come before her!! Your coat is blue roan!! That shade of blue is rare with mustangs. And that blaze accents your face well. I think you deserve the honour of being lead mare."