His feet were sore and blistered in his shredded shoes. His shirt was bramble-torn and leaf-stained, his trousers dirty and frayed.
The river was a mirage-like solace, too good to be true. He knelt on the bank and lowered cupped hands into the cool water.
After he had drunk his fill, he turned to see a horse, fur as dark as the blackest mud, with rushes tangled in its mane.
‘I’ve heard of you,’ said the man. ‘I won’t ride you, no matter how sore I am.’
The horse snorted and struck its hoof on the ground. ‘You think I mean to drown you.’
‘That’s what you are, isn’t it?’
‘And what are you?’ asked the horse.… Read more