A mare can stand perfectly still and make you hear the words: Thou shalt not come closer.
It was our last location of the day, and there were several dozen mares in the pasture beside the lake. All the others were grazing and tolerating the buoyant shenanigans of foals. But a solitary mare stood off by herself at the edge of the field. We skirted her, our eyes downcast to avoid being confrontational or threatening. And when we were in a position to see why she stood so, we saw that there was a foal lying in the deep grass at her feet. It was very still, and we wondered if everything was okay with it. We waited, glancing at her sideways. And then slowly, luxuriously, with the naive trust of a foal born in a place with no predators, the baby awakened, lifted its head and stretched, then got to its feet and tottered off on new legs with its now relaxed mother.
We sat on grassy tussocks. We could have stayed there all afternoon, sheer cliffs to our left, snow covered mountains to our right, a fjord stretching off into the distance, mares and foals wandering congenially among us. But then they decided that there was either tastier grass elsewhere, or they’d grown weary of our presence, and they took their long-maned, multicolored selves down the road beyond the knoll at our backs and out of our view.