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Horses on Easter Island – Part 2

February 20, 2011

We stood at a respectful distance from the mare discussing our options for about half an hour as people came and went, conversing in hushed tones. Everyone was distraught. Our group had come together from homelands as distant as Russia, Japan, Venezuela, Australia, Europe, Canada, South Africa, and the U.S. And it was clear from people’s expressions that most of us held a deep affinity for the well-being of our animal friends. The mare, at first a bit alarmed by our attention, began to soften as we continually assured her that our only desire was to help her and honor her wishes.

Our considerations for her were: If she were in her death process, would we be interfering, causing her undue stress, if we tried to cut the wires? What if we didn’t succeed and only made things worse? Besides we didn’t have any wire cutters. Nor did we have permission from her owner. And furthermore, she was a semi-wild horse. Even in her weakened state, she could inflict substantial damage if she or her foal felt threatened. From a rational standpoint, it seemed wise to let her be and contact her owner.

After an hour or so, most of the group reluctantly began heading back to the buses. Frits, a compassionate soul who owned horses in the Netherlands, lagged behind with Benito, me and the horses. We were desperately trying to come to terms with our departure when, suddenly, Frits looked Benito in the eye and asked, “Will you give us permission to try to free her?” Benito paused for a few moments, then gave his full blessing.

Frits sprinted to the bus to recruit volunteers. Later, I heard he joined Barry, a healer from Arizona, who had independently decided to help the mare with 5 full bottles of powerful disinfecting/antimicrobial/cellular regenerating essential oils he had serendipitously placed in his bag that morning.

One of our guides found a pair of mediocre wire cutters, and a bus driver departed to obtain a more heavy-duty set. Meanwhile, two other guides rounded up most of our bottled water to fill a large plastic cooler for the horses to drink.

Randy, a friend from the U.S., and I had stayed with the mare. Interestingly, as soon as we decided to attempt to remove the wires, she began grazing and shuffling around a bit, very slowly. But her eyes seemed brighter. I wondered if we had helped spark her will to live. Seeing her desire to eat, I knew we had made the right decision, regardless of the outcome.

As I continued talking calmly with her, she communicated these words, “Even if I don’t live, I’m grateful to know that someone cares about me.” She had been enduring such abandonment in this dire situation for who knew how many days and nights. Surely by now she could feel the immense flow of love surrounding her.

Randy, Guapo (one of our guides) and Benito gently approached her, murmuring soothing words. But she continued to move away from them, the foal always at her side. She seemed stronger than she did an hour ago. The men kept a steady pace in relation to her movements. Before long, the five of them drifted along in unison, together as if in a dance.

Along the isolated road, six women gathered to pray: a Maori elder from New Zealand, two women from Russia, two Americans who lived in Fiji and me. We watched as about seven men returned from the bus and joined the human-equine dance, gently encircling the mare. She limped a short distance toward a long fence and then stopped with her foal nearby. Guapo immediately placed a rope, brought from the bus, on the back of her neck, a trained signal for horses on the island to be still.

(Conclusion in Horses on Easter Island – Part 3.)


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