So many years ago that I can’t even remember, we took our morning walk down the road and were surprised to see a dozen or more horses on the road lined up along the fence, looking toward something we couldn’t see. It was odd. Later we went to feed a horse we had penned up because she needed care. She didn’t show up, so we went searching for her. We found her, dead, where she had fallen down a steep rock face and either hit her head or broke her neck. Or maybe she’d had heart failure.
The strangest thing about all this is that the horses that had lined up along the fence were looking in the right direction but couldn’t possibly see where their friend was because of an intervening ridge. But that didn’t deter them from approaching as close as they could and paying their respects.
Early this morning I headed for the corral and was surprised to see every last one of our horses and mules gathered around. Sure enough, old “Bones,” King, was lying down. He had been struggling to get up, but was too weak. He was still alive, but it was unlikely that he would ever be able to stand again. I called the only vet in the area who makes house calls to come over and put King out of his misery.
Once again, a horse in distress had managed to call in all his friends to say goodbye.