People have seen beautiful mares and energetic stallions.
People have seen beautiful mares and energetic stallions. Not very many of them have seen a horse through eyes that existed 200 years ago, in the face of a young, 12-year-old boy, with no power of speech except for his eyebrows, his eyes, his silences. The feast for his eyes was named Sham, the Arabian for "sun." Sham was an orphaned at an early age. He was barely noticed and often shunted around. He was frequently bullied by the other young fillies. He could barely get out of the way of the larger stallions, the prize of the Sultan's stables.
All through his troubles was the comforting presence of Agba. Born a mute, he found it hard to communicate with the other horseboys. Out of all the 12,000 horses in the royal stables, Agba had charge of 10. One of those was a strong-boned mare. She was Agba's all-time favorite. When she foaled, she passed away, but her colt was the spitting image of his mother, besides the sign of speed on his heel, a white, almond-shaped spot. But on his chest was a criss-crossing of hairs resembling the wheat ear, a harbinger of doom and misfortune.
Soon, Agba grew to like Sham, and he was Sham's favorite. Agba gave him savory camel's milk with a dollop or two of wild honey when he squalled in hunger. When there was no room at the watering troughs for him to sip a small bit of water, Agba gave him a large gulp from his own water cask. He exercised him at a moment's notice. He fed him when he butted the empty food trough. Agba was the "mother" Sham had always wished for.
One day, the boy king of France, Louie the 15th, sent for 6 stallions from the distant land of Africa. Sham was one of the few chosen, and he was declared "the finest horse in all of the stables" in the letter dictated to the Duke. For the journey, the horses were promised bushel upon bushel of corn and grains, but the captain of the ship pocketed the money and only gave them nutrition-deprived straw. They were all starved to exhaustion and the horseboys were forced to work the sails in fierce storms.
When will they ever see the light of good days again? Find out in the story "King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian".