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Old 03-01-2016, 08:09 PM   #290
Illusionary Holbytla
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 7,646
Firefoot has been trapped in the Barrow!
Léof hesitated only a moment before leaving to do as Thornden bid. Thornden was right, and Léof had to face it: he could not protect the horses, and the young ones would stand as good a chance on their own as with the human denizens of the Hall.

He made his way down the stable aisle, opening stall doors and releasing the uneasy yearlings, two-year-olds, and pregnant mares. None were yet due to foal, and he hoped they might be a calming, steadier influence on the flightier young animals. “Look after them, alright?” he said to Cinderfoot as he led her out of the stables. “And don’t even think about having that foal till the water’s gone and you’re safe back here.”

Lastly he came to Æthel’s yearling filly Ællwyn, the one for whom he had such high hopes. “Be wise and brave and safe,” he murmured to her. “Come back to me when it’s dry.” The flick of her ears told him she was listening to his voice, but her anxiety at the rising water was clear. She hesitated only a moment before plunging out into the rain, trotting to catch up with the small herd that was already headed towards higher ground and shelter on the Scar. Their instincts are good, he told himself. They will be safe.

But his worry continued unabated, and he could not help but wonder if it was the last time he would see any of them. If there was something more he could have done. Memory flashed sudden and bright in his mind of another day long ago: stables burning, horses screaming…

But no. There was nothing more he could have done then, any more than he could do now. He had other charges to care for, and he put his worries aside as he began the familiar work of haltering the remaining horses and preparing them to ride out.
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