White Mare in the Corn by N. V. M. Gonzalez Excerps from Seven Hills Away

One morning late in October, an old white mare found here way into the corn field of Pantaleon Gamo, on the east side of Kabalwa Hill, in upper Barok.

Ssshe was a lean , half-starved animal. Her coat of loose skin was a dull white: she had a shaggy mane, and her longish tail was glude at the tip with mud. A newly-healed wound mark her back; evidently someone had galled her and then simply turned loose to be free of the bother of feeding her.

Old Pantaleon, who was around sixty and who usually live in the clearing all by himself, had company at this time: a young nephew from the island of Tablas, Alejo ny name, an innocent-looking lad of fourteen. He was stiffed-haired and narrow-barrow but a really nice boy, what with his big, round, kind eyes.

It was Alejo who saw the mare emerge the open valley and slowly climb up the shrubby hill. She grazed leisurely from one grassy patch to another, until, at last she was near old Pantaleon’s corn field. Alejo shouted “ho-ho-ho!” to drive her away. The mare turned about and made as if to go back the valley. But in a short while she was back again, craning her neck and trying to reach out for young corn plants hardly a foot high on the other side of the fence. Once more beating as old baboo drum. At length the horse took fright, galloped away, and was by the green of the valley.

Pld Pantaleon, who was suffering from ague and had been half asleep was awakened by the noise.

“it was an old, thin mare,” said the boy to his uncle.

“And you only drove her off as though she were a cow? Asked the sick man. Had he not been ill, he would have said more.

An hour later the mare returned. Old Pantaleo’s chill had ended, and he was sitting by the window of his hut looking out over his corn field as if in a trancve.

Swiftly a feeling at rage swept over as he saw the beast . Whose mare is that ? he cried. ”Now, where’s my bolo? And where’s my spear? Let me show you what do you with a horse that gets into a poor corn field”.

It was perhaps a fated day for the mare. Old Pantaleon groped his bolo in its hanging place on th4e wall , and produced a spear that had been tucked into the woven wall by the doorway for months. In a moment, he was in the sunshine, his bolo dangling from his waist, the spear half-glistening for all its covering of darkish rust.

Old Pantaleon grinned at his fourteen-year old nephew. “now, follow you worthless fellow. Let me show you something. It is well you learn a thing or two from your old uncle.”

Amazed with but the vaguest idea of what was coming, Alejo followed the old man. The mare had leap over the fence and was browsing on the young corn. Her hoofs dug deep into the soft, ashly ground.

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