Thundercloud Chapter II

Chapter I - Chapter II - Chapter III - Chapter IV

The little colt was named Thundercloud. He grew well under Alie’s care for four months. However, the Bailey family suffered a disaster when Alie’s father was killed in a car accident.

Soon after, Alie’s mother Trina called Allie to her room. “Alie, we will need to sell these stables and horses and go live with my mother. We have no money left to care for the horses.”

Alie stared at her mother and burst out crying. “I don’t want to leave the stables, I don’t wanna!”

One by one the horses were sold in auction. Little Thundercloud was sold to a man who claimed to own a racing stable. However, as Thundercloud would soon learn, he did not have a racing stable, he had a stable where he bought horses to send to slaughter. He bought Thundercloud at a cheap price, and thought more about the short-term money he would get from Thundercloud’s meat than the potential Thundercloud had. Surprisingly, the Baileys’ forgot to give the man the registration papers, but the man did not even notice.

Thundercloud was crammed into a trailer with many horses and driven to the stables, which were small and crowded. A gruff-looking man took hold of his lead rope as he jumped out of the trailer and roughly pulled Thundercloud with him. “Come on!” he shouted at Thundercloud.

Thundercloud quivered and rolled his eyes as the man slapped him on the back. Thundercloud bolted forward, but the man was massive and the colt only swung around the man. “You idiot!” shouted the man. He pulled out a whip and sent a stinging blow over Thundercloud’s chest. Thundercloud squealed and half reared. The man was finally able to cram him into a small stall.

Thundercloud’s nostrils quivered as he tried to find space in the stall. It was piled high with manure, and there was very little water and no food. At his former owner’s, he had been treated like a prince, and Alie was almost always with him, except at night. Here, he started to feel lonely.

He sent out a shrill neigh, and started kicking the stall. “Get me out of here!” he thought. The same gruff man came and opened the stall door. Thundercloud laid his ears flat on his head, but the man lifted the whip. The whip whistled through the air and landed with a crack on the colt’s face. Thundercloud spun around and stuck his head into a corner.

The whip whistled again, and an intense pain followed the crack and blood began to gush from Thundercloud’s back. He quivered and knew that he had to run, but he also knew that there was no place to run, as he was as far from the man as he could be.

The whip came down a second time, and Thundercloud spun around and reared, his hooves striking out at the man. The man yelled and struck the whip against Thundercloud’s chest. The colt squealed and reared again, pushing the man onto the ground. He lithely jumped over him, giving him a kick with his hind legs before galloping away.

Thundercloud did not know where he was going; all he knew is that he was running away, far away. His nostrils quivered and his legs pumped him faster, as he ran for his life. His wounds gushed blood, and they stung him tremendously, but he knew he could not stop until he was far away from the hell he had left.

He galloped until he arrived to a small stream in the middle of the expanse of desert. This was Nevada, a dry desert, but home to the wild horse herds. Here he drank his fill, and then perked his ears. A stallion and a mare with a filly a little younger than him trotted toward him. When they noticed him, they stopped. They looked at him quizzically, and the stallion took a step toward him.

Thundercloud quivered and was fearful before these mustangs. He knew that a weak horse is not welcome, and he was bleeding. To show that he was not weak, Thundercloud reared, striking his hooves into the air. He neighed and trotted in a circle, then stopped and looked at the mustangs. The stallion watched him quietly. The mare nickered and stepped toward Thundercloud. Her nose met his, and they sniffed each other with apprehension. The mare backed up and nudged the filly. The filly looked at him shyly, and then began prancing around her mother.

Thundercloud flicked his ears and trotted after the filly. The filly was shorter, but she was about the same age. She galloped away from her mother, and Thundercloud galloped after her. They began prancing around, nipping each other playfully. Thundercloud finally grew tired and went to lie by the stream. The mustang stallion went up to him and sniffed him. Then, satisfied, he turned toward his mare, formally accepting Thundercloud into their small herd.


Thundercloud grew larger and taller than any mustang around, as he was a Thoroughbred. As he got older, his bay coat darkened into a non-fading jet-black coat. He was happy in the small herd, and as he matured, he began to be interested in the filly, wanting to breed with her. However, the filly was still young, and she began to kick at him whenever he got near.

Thundercloud then began approaching the mare. However, the stallion did not appreciate this. He chased Thundercloud away with a threat, but as time continued, the stallion began to be more irritated by the frisky colt, and felt the colt could not stay in the herd.

One day Thundercloud nuzzled the mare when the stallion was over the hill. Then he attempted to mount her, just as the stallion came galloping over the rise. Thundercloud turned to face him. The stallion snorted and reared, with his teeth bared and his ears laid flat against his head.

Thundercloud dodged, but then charged the stallion, and bit him on his neck. The stallion squealed and kicked out at the colt. Thundercloud reared and neighed, just as the stallion reared, with his teeth heading toward the colt’s neck. He did not reach the neck, but bit Thundercloud on his shoulder on his way down. Thundercloud spun around and kicked his hind legs into the stallion.

The stallion snorted and half reared as he charged the colt. Thundercloud’s eyes had a fire in them, but he knew he wasn’t a match for the much more experienced stallion. The stallion was small, being a mustang, but he was intelligent in the ways of fighting.

The stallion reared and struck at Thundercloud with his front hooves. Thundercloud bolted and trotted a few steps away. He turned and faced the stallion, which was looking calmly at Thundercloud. Then the mare laid her ears flat on her back and charged at Thundercloud, her teeth bared. Thundercloud spun around and galloped away, through the sagebrush and desert sands. He knew he had been expelled.

He galloped far away, but soon slowed and turned around. He heard the pounding of hooves behind him, and soon saw that the filly had been following all along. He neighed and nickered as the filly trotted to him nuzzling his nose. She pranced around him, and he took off galloping again, with the filly beside him.

Soon they arrived at a small stream, and here they drank their fill.


A year and a half later, Thundercloud welcomed his first son. He had now added a new life to his small herd.

Thundercloud thought his happiness complete, as he had no want, and as he enjoyed his time with his small family, far from human civilization.

He thought he would never come into contact with humans, but he was to be proven wrong. One day, when his colt was only one month old, Thundercloud heard a rumbling on the ground, and a rumbling in the air.

Soon, a herd of mustangs came into view, followed in the air by a helicopter. Seeing the helicopter, Thundercloud reared and screamed his shrill neigh and took off galloping, as the mustang her caught up. Thundercloud stayed near his mare, and as the young colt slowed, Thundercloud and his mare began dropping back. The helicopter kept them going faster though, and the colt dropped further and further behind. Thundercloud and his mare were running for their lives, and so no way to keep behind with their colt.

After a few hours of constant running, the colt dropped beside sagebrush, panting, and two weak to go any further. Thundercloud and his mare galloped on, hardly keeping running themselves. They were herded into a corral by the helicopter, where they panicked, as they were crammed together with many mustangs that were just as scared as they.

Thundercloud could barely keep beside his mare, but he managed to. On him was branded a number. It was not very conspicuous and was underneath his mane on his neck. Thundercloud’s mare was separated from him along with several of the other mustangs. Though Thundercloud did not know it, his mare had been sent to slaughter, to reduce the mustang population on the BLM’s land.

Thundercloud, on the other hand, was put up for adoption. A sixteen year old girl named May Magee, with her mother Laura and her father Harold walked around the arena, discussing each of the mustangs they saw. They had come to adopt a mustang. The Magee family raised and raced Thoroughbred racehorses, but they had decided on having one mustang.

May then pointed to Thundercloud. “Now he’s a big mustang, isn’t he?” she said.

Her father looked at the stallion she pointed to. “I would declare so! He almost looks like a Thoroughbred he’s so large.”

May looked at Thundercloud. “He looks as though he would be fast. Why don’t we adopt him?” She looked at her father.

May’s father smiled and stroked his chin. “What do you think, Laura?” he asked, turning to his wife.

Laura smiled and said, “I think he would fit well into our stables. Let’s hope his temperament is as good as his physical looks.”

May’s father drove the trailer up and they herded Thundercloud into the trailer. Thundercloud was so frightened with what had happened in the last couple of days that he did not offer resistance. Once inside the trailer, May’s father cornered him in one end of the trailer by closing the angle’s gate. He then quickly grabbed Thundercloud’s head and looked at this top lip.

“He has a tattoo on him!” he exclaimed as he exited the trailer and closed the gate. “That proves that he is a Thoroughbred that was raised to race. We can probably track his papers.”

As they drove toward their stables, May wondered about Thundercloud. “He must have escaped,” she thought.

Meanwhile, a couple of days later, in the hot desert sands, fifteen-year-old Amy Horton and her seventeen-year-old brother William rode their trusty horses. Amy’s chestnut mare, Sugar, began to raise her head higher than usual, sniffing the air, and snorting. William’s paint gelding, Dodo, pranced ahead of sugar. At a certain bush, he suddenly bolted and snorted, with William holding on tightly.

“What’s the matter with you, Dodo?” asked William. Then William and Amy both stopped and stared at the bush. Under it lay a colt that looked more dead than alive. But he was breathing, which showed he was alive after all.

It wasn’t long before the colt had been taken to a vet for intensive veterinary care. Thundercloud’s colt was one of the few who had survived to be found and saved. Many more died in the desert, being trampled in the holding pens killed others, and many pregnant mares had aborted their foals after the exhaustive round up.

After Thundercloud’s colt had recovered, the Horton family adopted him. As he grew, he was healthy and loved, and matured to be big, red, powerful, and fast. He was named Thunderbird.

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