MIST – A chestnut filly with a dark grey mane and tail, white socks, and a white star on her face.
COAST – A bay colt with a black mane and tail and one white sock on his back leg.
The wind whipped the shores of Sable Island. It whipped the dunes, it whipped the grass, it whipped the water. The ocean surged in, smashing the south side with unrelenting force. The waves crashed against the shore and swelled over dunes washing away grass and sand. The horses huddled, the birds snuggled, and the seals cuddled.
When the fog rolled in and the wind calmed, all but two horses were huddled up in the herd. Two yearlings, separated by the windy turmoil, would have to fend for themselves. This is their story.
Mist opened her sand-crusted eyes; the young filly was curled up in a ball. It smelled different; the fog still thick. Coast rolled over next to her, still snoring. She gave him a nudge and he woke with a start. As he woke-up he snorted sand and snot all over her! “Cut it out” she whinnied in surprise, nudging him again. Coast stopped snorting. He started trotting in a circle, trying to figure out where they were. The wind had spooked the two of them and they had run for a long time. “I think we are at the east end of Wallace Lake.” Coast neighed. He started to paw the ground. “How do we get home?” He whinnied. Meanwhile Mist had been sniffing the ground around them and called out, “first let’s eat.”
After eating, the two yearlings trotted along the edge of Wallace Lake. “We need to get to the Fresh Water Ponds and I’m not entirely sure how,” Coast snorted after a while. “Follow the lake west and we should get there eventually.” Mist neighed. So, they continued west, towards the setting sun. As they trotted, they saw many things. They saw Ipswich Sparrows flitting through the grass and Herring Gulls calling each other as they glided through the sky. Coast watched the gulls flock together and snorted. “I miss the herd” he said with a sigh.
By now Mist and Coast were passing over North Beach and they stopped to look for a snack of seaweed. As Mist galloped towards the water, her hoof caught on something. She whinnied in alarm to Coast and fell forwards onto the sand. Coast galloped forwards as Mist got up. “What did you trip on?” He neighed. Mist sniffed the ground. “It looks like a bone!” She whinnied and started digging. The yearlings dug at the sand until they uncovered a skull resembling a seal. “It looks like a seal” Coast observed. “But with really long teeth” Mist snorted. Coast dug his snout under the skull and lifted his head so the skull was sitting on his head like a hat. “grrrrr! I’m a toothy seal!” He neighed. But the yearlings didn’t know that the “toothy seal” they had found was actually the skull of a rare Atlantic walrus now extinct in Nova Scotia. The island was once home to a breeding population of these walruses but now all that is left on Sable Island are a few bones and skulls buried beneath the ever-shifting sands.
As the sun set, the yearlings found a soft spot to rest for the night and fell asleep immediately.
When they woke the next morning, the yearlings found they had covered a good amount of ground and were at the end of North Beach. As they passed onto the dunes, they saw a weird shape looming in the distance. Coast started pawing the ground. “What’s that?” He neighed in alarm. “That’s where the herd of humans live,” Mist snorted. “We’ll have to go around.” So, Mist led the way towards the Southern side of the island. They walked for the rest of the day, and as night fell the two horses stopped in a small area of grass. They lay down together and looked up at the starry sky.” It’s so beautiful here.” Mist whispered as she fell asleep next to Coast who was already again snoring.
That day, the two friends had traveled from the edge of North Beach until they reached the most eastern pond. “Where’s the herd?” Coast neighed in concern. “They were here before the storm!” The yearlings trotted around the ponds edge. “They must have moved on,” Mist whinnied, “there’s not much food left as it’s been eaten or damaged by the storm.” Mist sat down to think. Coast snuffled around trying to find something worth eating. “They probably went to the West Spit to find some sea-plants,” Mist called out as she started west, and Coast had to run to catch up. “Let’s go find our herd.” Mist neighed.
They started running towards where the sand met the sea, and soon, the yearlings saw a beach covered with seaweed. There, in front of the setting sun, a herd of horses played and ate. They saw Coast’s mother Ebony and Mist’s sister Marram. The two yearlings ran to their herd and they were home once again.
Evelyn © 2022
Age 12, Eastern Shore, NS
Sable In Words 2022
Youth Writing Contest, 10-13 age group
Sable Island Institute