Mothers hold love, protection

Published 12:12 am Sunday, May 9, 2010

She could be seen down in the country bottomland a neighbor owns, the silver mare shining under the first warm sunshine after an extremely cold Mississippi February.

She stood guard with a days-old white colt in her shadow. When mom leaned down, baby leaned down. When mama walked, baby walked.

To whom they belonged became a country mystery, but having lived “off the beaten path” for several years, visitors to our expanse of land are frequent. Never, though, had a horse given birth two football fields from my front door.

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When an onlooker got too close to them, they scattered over almost 80 acres of country land.

Early the next morning, Cali the Guard Dog — who, at 42 dog years old, is more prone to alert her owner by sighing, “Oh, by the way, there are two horses running through the yard” than by barking incessantly — made just enough noise to alarm me of our visitors prancing past the front porch.

The two returned to their newfound home in the bottom until two cowboys came clopping down the driveway. The chase was on…

Since this is Mother’s Day, it is important to realize that in every animal kingdom, the mother is the high protector and nothing and no one will interrupt the service of that protection.

Each time the two cowboys got close to mama and baby, off the pair went. Up hills, through thickets, wet bottomland, deep into the woods they ran, cowboys in pursuit. Hours passed, and finally the two cowboys seemed to have them pinned down in front of the porch.

One horse and cowboy got close — only to see mama’s back legs kick with a brutal force sent rider and his horse staggering backward — and mama and baby into the woods.

About 48 hours after first seeing mama and baby in the bottomland, the cowboys got them under control. I can only imagine the fight she put up as they got that rope around her neck.

A day or two later, a story appeared in this newspaper about a mother in Louisiana who was arrested for trying to trade two children for some cash and a cockatoo.

For the mothers out there who emulate that silver horse and know in their hearts that nothing from a speeding train to a horrific twister will keep you from protecting the young, Happy Mother’s Day.

For those in the cockatoo class, it is never to late to change your ways. Let the silver-haired mare be your guide.

Sean P. Murphy is web editor. He can be reached at