Spring is my favourite time of year, not crispy autumn or damp winter. Not even heated summer.
Spring: that time when the grass is at its greenest and sweetest, when multi-hued blossoms pop out of the ground at my feet. Fresh water tumbles from the mountains and the bees set about honeying the hills.
One particular spring stands out, and I remember it clearly. To think of it makes me jump for no apparent reason.
The smell of the cedar trees wafted down the hill to where we were playing in the olive groves. Sunlight spotted the ground from between the twitching leaves. A stranger appeared, dressed in white, robed like a cloud. I went up to him and asked if he wanted to play with us on such a fine day. He did not answer, but he did smile. I remember that. He motioned for me to follow. So I did.
I’m glad I did. There were all sorts of people I had never seen before: men and women, boys and girls.
They were all happy. They welcomed me by singing beautiful songs as they washed me and gave me food and drink.
Little girls and ladies placed perfect flowers around my head and neck, and we walked together, singing all the while. I couldn’t understand the song, but I felt special. I knew my brothers and sisters would be very jealous.
It was a long walk up the hill, but I did not care, especially when I saw the shiny round white house with the red clay roof. There were more people waiting there, also singing and smiling and showering me with scented petals. I tried to pick some of them up, but we were moving too quickly toward the white house.
A tall man stepped out of the house followed by smoke which then swirled into the blue sky. He wasn’t smiling like the rest, but he stroked my head, and said something soothing as he looked up at the sky. I didn’t know what he was holding but it looked cold and curved, like new shoots just as they break the surface of spring mud. The man made me look up too. People sang and flowers fell.
I felt a sudden sharp pinch and then I could not see any more.
When I awoke, very well-rested, I was in a new place. It was neither hot nor cold, but just the way I like it. The sun shone perfectly.
A group of others stared at me.
“Do you want to play?” one of them asked.
“Of course,” I answered before running off with them.
I stopped then, and looked behind me to see a river. I had not seen that river before. It was wide and still and black as black can be. Beyond the river were dark mountains and angry clouds where a storm raged. I was sad for anyone who lived on the other side because here it was spring and there was a lot of green grass for me to play around in and eat. I kicked up my hooves and joined the others.
I can still hear the people singing, wherever they are.