The Abridged Journals of Hasufel the Brave
Sound. That was the first thing I was conscious of. Wind blowing through the oaks of the forest, whisking up fallen leaves. Crickets chirping their
constant love ballad. A horse neighing in delight. The voice of a man, strong and proud.
Light blinded me as I opened my eyes for the first time. Staring down at me with affection stood a tall mare nudging me with her nose.
Up! Slowly my legs under me pushed me as my mother urged me on. I fell, once, twice. The man laughed and slapped a hand on his legs, said something.
Then I was up! Running free in a world of wonder.
I looked in awe at everything around me. To the man that stood stalwart next to my mother. He gently stroked her mane and said something into her
I instinctively rubbed up against her. She kissed me on the nose, and I found her teat and drank, hmm the milk was so good.
Then I saw a butterfly sitting lazily on a white lily and chased after it, looking back at my mother. She nodded approvingly and off I was in a chase
after the butterfly.
My mother neighed a warning that I was going too far. I stopped, looked back at her staring at me disapprovingly, and then toward the butterfly that
was now flying high in the baby blue sky. But then I forgot about the butterfly as I saw a beautiful hawk soaring high above, regal and free beneath a
I closed my eyes and smiled. I was alive, and life was good.
Then the man was beside me. He stroked me gently on my mane. I looked into his eyes, blue and fierce. He frightened me, but my mom trusted him so I
allowed him to touch me. He said some words and then said, “Blaze.” The next two weeks whenever he was around me I recognized the word “Blaze”
and soon realized it was my name.
What a bold proud name I thought, not knowing what it meant, but I was sure it was a strong name.
We were out walking in the forest, three weeks had past. There was a faint sound in the distance. I noticed the ears of my mother perk to attention. I
put my own low to the ground and heard a low rumble. As it drew closer the ground started to tremble.
My mother neighed a stern and cold warning to our master. His ax stopped chopping the wood. He wiped beads of sweat from his forehead and stared in
the distance. Then he too must have noticed the noise.
He shouted out commands to my mother who obeyed loyally. He was on her in an instant and they were off and running toward his home and family.
It was too late. As we came out of the forest a sight greeted me that would haunt my waking eyes, and my dreams at night for the rest of my life. The
master’s family lay dead in front of the manor. Flames and thick smoke licked heavenward from the home and the barn. I could hear the neighing of
two other horses that were trapped inside.
And there in front of us stood an army of at least fifty men, some on foot, some on horseback, holding large instruments of destruction in their
hands. They had long blonde hair. Their faces covered with long beards and thick mustaches. “Vikings!” master shouted. Mother neighed and stared
onward. She did not flinch. She did not waver. It was fifty-to-one. There was no running. There was no hiding.
And then they were gone. I tried to follow, but the last thing my mother did for me was to turn and sternly stare me down and neigh at me a fierce
warning not to follow. Then master pulled on her reigns, dug his feet into her sides and they were off like lightning. He brandished a sword from a
scabbard on my mother’s side and shouted a fierce cry as they heralded headlong into the army. One man fell from his saddle as master slashed at him
with a ferocity that stopped my heart. Two. Three. A weapon flung through the air towards master but he dodged it. Another came at him from his left.
My mother reared her hind legs and kicked at a man approaching them from behind, kicking him hard in the stomach. He fell to the earth to stir no
more. An arrow came from the trees and missed master but cut deep into mother’s neck. She fought on until she could stand no more, at last falling
to the earth. He dismounted her and fought on. Killing at least five men. But there were too many men. At last I saw him cut down by a large weapon.
He fell dead on the ground near his family.
I neighed toward my mother and master. But it was a weak call. They could not hear me.
And then I was alone. The heaven was shrouded by dark clouds that cracked with thunder. And large raindrops started to fall to the ground. The men
finished looting what was once home as the rain fell around us in torrents.
I remained still at the edge of the forest. I was lost. The world was beautiful no more.
A man turned to stare at me. He was tall, like master, and walked with a limp. He approached me holding his hand out. I turned to run when he got
close. It was too late. He lassoed me with a rope and pulled me, dragging and kicking to his horse and tied me to it.
He pointed at me and said something to his companions, they laughed, and then we were off.
It rained the remaining of the journey. It last the better part of two days, until finally we came to their village.
Rain turned to sleet. Sleet turned to snow. Wind blew. My mane was thick, and my pride was thicker. I did not feel the hands of the cold wind
colliding against my body. I ignored the snow. By the time we reached the village snow was up to my knees.
The man who captured me had a person come of out his house and tend to his horse and then to me. I was lead to a stall and given hay to eat and
The men around me in the village were shouting aloud and showing off their plunder. Women and children came out to welcome them back. Bonfires were
set and dance and song filled the air as night approached.
I looked off into the distance longingly toward where my home once was and neighed. Then looked down to the cold hard earth beneath me. Exhausted I
lay down and closed my eyes.
Winter came and I grew taller and stronger. With the approach of spring my new master’s child, tried to tame me. But I would not allow it to touch
me. I was obstinate and uncontrollable. He would curse me and spit at me. I would kick him in return. His father would sometimes watch and laugh,
finding amusement in the mischief I caused.
Two more winters came and past I was growing into a full-grown horse. Finally the master spent a summer taming me. It was not easy, but eventually he
mastered me and I became a powerful steed beneath his feet.
Then came the day. It was a fall day, I was five-years-old. Master, Ragnar, had groomed me into an apt horse, worthy of the bravest of warriors. He
finally took me with him as the Vikings gathered together to go raiding in south Northumbria, the place I was born. I walked the way my mother did,
that day I saw her fall in battle, what seemed to me a life-time ago. My new name was Alvar. I was big and bold and fierce. My master held to the
reigns and kicked into my ribs and let me run with the wind.
And that is what I loved. To run with the wind. Its bite was cold at my face. I looked upward to a grey sky and to my sides to see horses and riders
on either of them. And we ran. The men shouted their battle cries, and we carried them like the wind carries the clouds in the sky, swift over the
land. Our hoofs pounding the hard earth, as it trembled before us.
edit on Sun Dec 29 2019 by DontTreadOnMe because: (no reason given)