I Can See You're Sad, Even When You Laugh, Even When You Smile

This is from a horse's point of view.

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 "Why are you such a prick!?" Sasha shouted in a whisper.

 "Go fuck yourself." Matt glares at her. They've been like this for days now. Sasha would come and feed me a carrot or mint. If Matt caught her, he'd go mad. But it's not only when she's near me; any time he see s her he makes some rude comment.

 "Why isn't Star brushed down. Jesus, Matt, what's wrong with you? You've been different lately!" Brenda says, shaking her head.

 "I'll do it now." He grabs a brush and grooms me with such force it hurts. I step to the side and snort. "Stand!" He gives me a slap on the neck. I stare at him. He's never hit me before. He brushes too hard again and I back up, raising my head. "For fuck sake, stand!" He slaps me harder this time and I rear up, letting out a loud whinny.

 He puts his hands over his head until I'm on the ground again. He brings the brush to my skin again and this time I just shuffle forward. He throws the brush at my shoulder. Confused, I leap into a series of bucks.

 I hear a shout and suddenly the door's opened. I see Sasha pull Matt out of the stall. I slip on the brush and stop bucking. I'm shaking and wet with sweat. Sasha's on the ground and Matt's on top of her. I look as he climbs off, glaring at her.

 He picks up the brush and I dance away. Sasha walks away, shaking her head. Matt moves towards me and I jump into a canter, heading towards the open stall door.

 "No, Star, no!" Matt shouts after me, but I just canter faster. I see Sasha stick her head out of Samson's stall. Her eyes widen and she comes out. I slip a little on the cobbles, but keep going. I jump the fence to the fields and keep going. There's a tall hedge and I jump over it easily.

 There's about five meters of a grass verge before the road.I keep cantering. Car horns honk at me. I keep going, sweating in the heat.

 I jump the hedge on the other side of the road and onto the race track. I see Sasha there on a racehorse called Like A Doe. How did she get here this fast?

 She gallops towards me and tries to grasp my lead rope. I shy at the last moment. She curses, racing for it again. This time she grasps the end. She pulls me to a halt. My sides are heaving with the exertion of the gallop and my near fore is beginning to hurt.

 Sasha turns me and nudges Doe on. I take a step and stop, holding my sore leg n the air. It isn't terribly sore, but it does hurt a bit.

 "Oh, Star, you poor thing," Sasha coos, stroking my nose. She dismounts and bends down, running her hands down my cannon bone. "Come on, let's get home, then you can get a nice haynet. Doesn't that sound nice?" I hobble forward. Brenda parks the trailer by the gate and Sasha tries to lead me in. I stop, shaking my head.

 "Lead Doe in first, she might follow," Brenda says, taking the brown mare's saddle off her back. Sasha leads Doe in, tying her with a lead rope.

 "Come on, girl, that's it." She ties me up and gives me a pat before jumping out the jockey door and locking it. Brenda, I think, closes the ramp and we go. I'm a little unbalanced with only having my weight on three legs.

 When I hobble down the ramp, Matt's face pales. "Is - Is she lame?"

 "Quite. There's heat in her legs already. She was galloping on the road. Just go home, Matt, your mother's here," Brenda said, all the while stroking me and leading me to the wash stalls.

 "I'll take care of her if you want?" Sasha says, taking my rope. Brenda smiles slightly and goes to take care of Doe. Sasha talks to me as she hoses my leg. "I wonder why Matt hates me. Everybody said he's usually really nice. What did I do to him, huh, Star?"

 I nicker a friendly greeting to Doe as I pass her stall. She reaches out and we touch noses for a while. Matt doesn't let me do that anymore. Sasha pats me and leads me to my stall. I spook at that vet's bags at the door.

 "Easy, girl," the vet says, stroking my nose. I snort and nudge him. He runs his hands down my legs, squeezing every once in a while. "It's not too bad, but you should hose it for twenty minutes twice a day to keep any swelling down, and if it swells put ice bandages onto her. Where's the other horse you wanted me to look at?" And wit that they're off, talking. Sasha takes out a body brush and runs it along my coat.

 She begins to sing as she grooms me. I drop my head, totally relaxed. She sweeps the brush over my coat, singing the lyrics to Mockingbird.

 I don't understand why Sasha's now the one caring for me. Matt's my owner. He's supposed to love me. I'm a little scared at how he's acting. It hurts that he never talks to me anymore. He used to tell me everything as he groomed me.

 "Sasha? Will you take care of Star for the next while? Matt's sick."

 "Yeah, sure." Sasha smiled at me. "Hear that, sweetie. I'm going to be looking after you . It's going to be like you're mine." She hugged me tightly for a few seconds before going to groom again.

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