Dolly pushed her nose against my shoulder. Warm smells of manure and hay and horse enveloped me.
‘Go on, now,’ I said, gently pushing her back.
She sensed something was different, a wrongness that made her nod and kick the stable door.
‘All right, I know.’ I pressed my face against hers, felt the brush of her whiskery lips, soft as kid gloves.
I turned then, hefted my pack and crossed the yard, cobbles and runoff slipping under my boots.
Mother stood at the farmhouse door, arms folded, a barrier never to be crossed. I nodded and she slipped back inside without a word.
Tom paced at the crossing, tipping his cap back when he saw me. ‘For King and Country, then,’ he said.
Poppies shivered on the bank along the lane, a scarlet ribbon leading us on to adventure.
‘For King and Country,’ I said.
Written for Crispina Kemp’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge. Use the photograph to take you to different worlds. See here to join in.
And to accompany the story, an apt song from the time.
8 thoughts on “Crimson’s Creative Challenge #83: Goodbye Dolly”
Off to war. That’s sad, cos we know what’s to happen. But it’s a good take on the photo
Wonderful portrayal, Lynn. Wonderful take on the prompt.
I was convinced this would be the horse going to the knackers. Good twist.
Ha! It never crossed my mind, weirdly. Sadly, the thought of the horse missing him more than his mother would intrigued me more
And I assumed his mother was trying her damnedest not to break down. We have preconceived notions that colour the way we interpret stories, don’t we?
Very apposite for the times, in so many ways. Thank you.
Thanks Chris, glad you thought so. Hope you’re doing okay. Are things opening up a bit more for you over there now?
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The Welsh Government (as well as the other devolved administrations) is trying to take a cautious approach in contradistinction to the reckless scattergun policies of the Westminster cabal. We’d love to see and hug family members but that seems to be some weeks away. At least we’re getting some fresh air from time to time! And you?