Dobbin loved nothing more than to run.. far and fast. He spent his days racing about.. he even tried to beat his own shadow. Most of the herd thought the sight of the golden stallion dashing about was comical.. they only ran when danger was present.

The herd Stallion, a huge black brute, would bugle with pride as he watched his son. As with many of the male of a species, he was impressed with things of a physical nature rather than with inner strength. Some of the older mares would shake their manes and whicker out advice to Dobbin.. such as "You're going to break a leg and then where will you be?" or "You're spooking the foals with all that racing about!"

But one young mare's heart filled with a longing as she watched the swift stallion chase the clouds. Speck was a plain mare and this bothered her greatly. She could do nothing special nor did she have any interesting markings. There was nothing that set her apart from the rest of the herd.

Speck wished she could do daring things..anything!! Face down wolves, leap a great fallen tree or even outrun a storm. Instead her days were filled with grazing and flicking flies.

One sultry summer's day a huge storm came sweeping across the plains. The herd headed for the hills to find some scanty shelter from the rain. The lead mare found a nice valley and the herd began to graze.

The storm picked up its intensity. Lightening flashed and thunder crashed. The rain came down in sheets that slicked the herd. Soon they all looked the same.. wet and black. Except for one. Even when wet Dobbin glowed a golden hue.

Nervous shivers shook the rain off the soaked horse. The fury of the storm flooded down on them. It almost but not quite masked the scream that echoed out from the trees surrounding the herd. The mares whinnied and the foals squealed in terror as yet another scream tore the night asunder. The stallion bugled a challenge that was met by a low growl and then another scream.

From out the storm and between the trees stalked the King of the night. The lightening made his eyes glow as the dark shadow stalked up to the herd.

The mares jostled one another as the horrible scent of their ancient enemy struck them. The lead mare had had enough.. she wheeled and ran with the rest of the herd following her. All except one.

Speck had slipped in the mud and was trying to raise herself back up when the panther struck. Pain crawled across her as his talons raked her hide. His screams racked her brain and she was ready to give up and die.

When out of the darkness a swift shape flew. A thunderous crack as his hooves made contact and sent the bloodthirsty cat flying. Dobbin reared and flailed his forelegs.. challenging the beast. But the big cat was after more easy prey and slunk off into the night.

Dobbin nuzzled Speck who had wearily climbed to her feet. The rain sluiced off her slashed hide.. cleaning her wounds and calming the pain. The pair stayed huddled together until dawn and the ending of the storm. Speck had gained a difference that would mark her... but would it satisfy her?

At a slower pace than normal for the spritely stallion, they plodded down the hills and into the valley. They found their herd grazing alongside the overflowing river.

Far from being glad at the reunion, the herd repelled the panther smelling duo. The herd stallion and the lead mare drove the pair away.

Speck and Dobbin galloped far and far away. It was time for a new beginning for them. They would go on to start a herd of their own. The storm had wrought more changes then merely filling the river and watering the trees. For one day a ranch hand spied the new herd and the chase was on.

But that is another tale to be told another day.

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