Thundercloud Chapter I

Chapter I - Chapter II - Chapter III - Chapter IV

Her strength and energy failing, Cloud Queen pushed one last time, bringing her foal into the world. She nudged her foal, and ate the tissue that surrounded him. With a sigh, she lay her head down on the straw.


Fourteen-year-old Alie Bailey awoke early as the first rays of sun played with her golden hair on her pillow. She jumped out of bed and got dressed quickly, knowing she had horses to feed. She was especially eager to visit Cloud Queen, the bay thoroughbred mare that had been bred to their stallion English Thunder eleven months ago. Cloud Queen was so large; she would surely have her foal soon.

Alie charged out of the house and walked briskly to the barn. She found a wheelbarrow and filled it with hay, then pushed it to Cloud Queen’s stall. She opened the stall door, and she saw Cloud Queen lying down. The mare lifted her head and nickered. Then Alie noticed the foal, which was wet, but was flicking his ears and attempting to stand.

Alie rushed back to the house. “Mom! Dad! Cloud Queen has had her foal!”

Alie rushed back to the barn, with her mother and father on her heels. At the stall, they watched as the little colt stood up on its shaky legs and charged toward his mother, stumbling and falling down.

Alie’s father stroked his chin and a frown creased his forehead. “Why hasn’t she gotten up yet?” he asked, half talking to himself. Alie looked at Cloud Queen, who breathed heavily, only occasionally lifting her head to nuzzle her foal.

Alie felt a sinking in her stomach. She hoped the mare would be fine. “Go call the vet,” instructed her father. Alie ran to the house and rung up the vet. With the message that he would be there soon, she rushed to Cloud Queen.

When she got there, her father was trying to coax the mare to get up, as the foal was waiting for his breakfast. Cloud Queen finally relented, and the little colt drank her milk ravenously.

Alie went to bed that night worried. The vet had come, but she had been in another part of the stables and had not heard what he had said. She asked her father, but he only said that the vet said that she was not well and may not make it through the night.

The next morning, Alie awoke, and with a beating heart, made her way to the stables. She slipped into Cloud Queen’s stall, but the mare was not there. Only the little colt lay there, looking at her with fearful eyes.

At once, Alie knew what had happened. Cloud Queen had been put down. Her father mentioned something like that might be necessary. Tears came into Alie’s eyes and she kneeled beside the colt and threw her arms around him. He didn’t even budge. It seemed that he understood Alie. Alie pet his little head, and the colt played with her hair.

She then went inside the house, where her father confirmed that they had put the mare down last night. He said no more. He gave her the vet’s instructions on how to care for the orphaned foal. Alie was to bottle feed him until he was old enough to eat solid food.

Chapter I - Chapter II - Chapter III - Chapter IV

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