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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Out Stealing Timber VII

Thea carried the bucket of water down to the fjord, following the fjordling’s path through the trees. The horse was grazing a patch of white clover and fine young grass and ignored Thea as she approached from behind. Thea placed the bucket on the rock and stood with hands on hips, watching the dun-coloured animal chopping the pasture, her flanks quivering with pleasure, the sheen of her coat reflecting the star-like quality of the fjord as the breeze changed from west to east. A gull stopped and rushed over the rocks to check it wasn’t missing anything and the horse swung its head away in an impatient flurry, frightening the bird and, inadvertently, discovered Thea’s bucket of water.

The animal buried her head in the bucket and half emptied it noisily. ‘Slowly,’ Thea said in a hushed voice, stroking her mane. ‘Slow down, girl, you’ve got all day for this. We don’t want you making yourself sick.’

When the fjordling lifted her head, sparkling droplets of water running down her neck, Thea took a step closer, breathing in the horse’s scent, feeling the warmth coming from deep within her body. Their heads touched briefly, broke apart and came together again, their foreheads knitted into one in the ancient salute that humankind and the horse both recognise when their auras meet.

‘And I don’t even know your name,’ Thea said when they broke away into single entities once more.

. . . . . . . . . . to be continued

3 Responses to “Out Stealing Timber VII”

  1. Jim Murdoch says:

    Yes. I like it. It could almost stand on its own.

    jb says: I sometimes feel like that, that I could almost stand on my own. Doesn’t last long, though, that particular illusion.

  2. J.C. says:

    A wonderful intro you have here. Certainly, a pleasure to read.

    …the ancient salute that humankind and the horse both recognize when their aura’s meet.

    aura’s – here, or maybe – auras

    just wondering


    jb says: Thanks JC. I’ve altered it. Instant editing, you can’t beat it.

  3. Wren says:

    I loved this scene. It drew me in and held me, caught my attention. I could see it in my mind’s eye, the grass, the trees and rocks, the water. As someone who spent a good deal of her girlhood caring for and riding horses, the paragraph that described the young woman and the horse touching foreheads took my breath away. Aware of that bond I’ve always been, but I’ve never seen it referred to before and indeed, would never have been able to find words for it.

    This story is intriguing. I look forward to the next bit.

    jb says: Thanks, Wren. I appreciate the encouragement. I’ll take whatever I can get at this stage of the novel, because, though I do vaguely know where it’s going, many of the details and the actual sequencing have still to show themselves. Oh, yes, and the research backlog is almost as long as Norway.