The Warrior

close up photography of brown horse

( Intermediate Level )

The natives call him The Warrior but the local ranchers call him a menace. This proud stallion has run free since he was a colt by his mother’s side.

His father, the strong alpha of his herd, taught him well .Whatever it took, his father protected his family. Fighting other stallions or helping elude the lassos of ranchers.

It was destined from birth that Warrior would have to leave his father’s herd and start his own which he has successfully done. He has collected seventeen mares and sired many young.

He is a bit stealthier than his father was. His father kept his herd far from any human contact. This was a beast he did not want to battle. For Warrior, humans didn’t matter.

Under the cloak of darkness, he would sneak in, close enough to the rancher’s pastures, beckoning their prize mares to follow him, adding to his already large family.

Ranchers would look for days for their mares but never found them. Warrior had taken them far away from the confines they once knew.

He knew he and his family were safe past the ridge to the north. This was his territory. His home. The land where he could run free.

Once a year the reach, even in this area, was not safe. The reach of man encroached on their safety to the north. Round-ups, as they called them, helped reduce the size of the wild horse herds, which decimated the lands due to overgrazing.

This is an ongoing battle between cattlemen and these majestic horses. Cattlemen need these lands to graze their cattle. With the wild herds growing, year by year, the lands are left barren.

This year’s round – up was no different than each year before. Ranchers would gather and plan what areas to go to and how many were to be captured.

This was the first year the ranchers came to his lair. Warrior knew he needed to keep his family safe when the ranchers came. He knew he could not win the battle against them. So when they came, he ran away with great speed, hoping his family followed.

Unfortunately, some of his family were captured or died trying to escape. They tried desperately to keep up with him but failed maybe out of fear. The ranchers used the sounds of gunshots to separate certain horses from the main group leaving them vulnerable to their lassos.

Once Warrior could get his group to safety he would walk around the group, snorting, as if he was seeing who was missing. He listened to the sound of their whinnies.

One was not heard. He bellowed again and still nothing. He was listening for the whinny of his mare. The alpha mare.

He pawed the ground out of frustration. Where was she? He looked out into the distance. He could see the dust being kicked up from the ranchers herding the captured horses into makeshift corrals in the distance.

He circled his group once again and started to move them even deeper to the north. He didn’t want to lose any more of his family to humans.

When the sun started to set and his herd was settled he knew he had to go back. Go back to see if he could find those who were not with his group.

That evening after the sun had set he made his rounds with his herd. Nuzzling some and nipping gently at his young. It was his way of reassuring them that everything would be alright.

He quietly made his way down the mountainside to where he knew the drama had unfolded earlier. He knew this land well so traveling in the dark was not an issue.

He saw the light from a campfire as he approached. He listened carefully, staying out of view. He heard the voices of his enemy. Man.

He quietly moved around to find the corrals, all the time staying far enough away so as to not be seen by the ranchers but close enough so his family could smell him. They knew somehow to stay silent so as to not alert the men of Warrior’s presence.

Warrior waited until the campfire nearly burned out. Only the glow of hot embers remained. This meant the ranchers would settle down for the night. Now was his chance to get his family and any extras that have been captured.

He slowly approached the circular corral. He let out a deep low throaty sound as if to say hello. Warrior walked around the pen making this sound stopping periodically to hear a response from his mare.

On his last pass, he heard her. He heard her respond back and this excited him. She was there in the center surrounded by others.

She made her way to the edge and they greeted each other through the wooden slats. Each talking low. You could see the sense of relief felt by Warrior. She was there. Now he had to get her out and back with him and the herd.

He looked over to where the ranchers had fallen asleep and his eyes gazed there for moments. He was looking for movement which he did not see. It was now or never.

He quickly turned and with all his might, he began to kick and kick the panels of the corral. The noises of the horses became louder and he worked feverishly to break the side down. This noise would surely wake up the men.

Hey! What’s going on over there?” yelled one of the men, who woke to the noise. One last kick and the panel fell. Warrior jumped forward and let out a loud commanding neigh that echoed in the valley. This was the signal to the once captured to follow him.

All took off, into the darkness, leaving the ranchers helpless. All they heard were the sounds of their hooves stampeding off into the night.

As soon as the group crested the first hill he stopped and looked back to make sure they were out of danger. No one had followed. Now he could slow the group down until they reached the others.

Another hour passed and he reached his destination. His family heard and smelled him coming so they eagerly awaited his arrival.

Many greeted each other as if they were happy to see them. The newcomers were quickly greeted and accepted into the herd.

Warrior now could relax and look for his alpha. She was found by a group of young. Many of these were her young. He nuzzled her once again and talked to her with his deep neighs.

For the next few days, They all grazed as The Warrior, aptly named by many, stood guard over them. He would be taking them higher ground far far away from any humans. He would do as his father did. Next time he may not be as lucky.

Legend has it that Warrior lived until his end, in the mountains to the north, eluding man and siring many sons. His sons run free, carrying on his legacy.

Written by: Angel

Follow Me On:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts from Angel:

I, personally, would like to see the wild horses continue to run free. I have read reports that many captured, with the guise of adoption, do not get adopted and end up as horse meat sent overseas. I hope this is not true.

If you appreciate what I do and would like to support me:


menace – noun: thing that is likely to cause harm; a threat or danger

alpha – noun: someone or something strong and powerful

elude – verb: evade or escape from a danger, enemy, or pursuer

lassos -noun: a rope or long thong of leather with a noose used especially for catching horses and cattle 

destined – adjective: fate

sired – verb: of a male animal, especially a stallion) cause the birth of

stealthier – adjective: a cautious manner, so as not to be seen or heard

herd – noun: a large group of animals

the cloak of darkness – metaphor: under the darkness of night

beckoning – verb: encourage or invite

confines – verb: the borders or boundaries of a place, especially with regard to their restricting freedom of movement

decimated – verb: kill, destroy, or remove a large percentage, in this case the vegetation

ongoing – adjective: continuous

barren– adjective: too poor to produce much or any vegetation

lair – noun: a place where a wild animal lives

vulnerable – adjective: susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm

frustration – noun: being upset or annoyed

makeshift – adjective: serving as a temporary

unfolded -verb: reveal or disclose

circular – adjective: having the shape of a circle

throaty – adjective: deep and husky

feverishly – adverb: excited or energetic

neigh – noun: high-pitched sound of a horse

stampeding – verb: movement in a rush, wildly and in a sudden mass panic

aptly – adverb: appropriate or suitable in the circumstances

Question ( s ):

What do you know regarding the wild horses that run free in the United States of America?

Do you think animals create a long lasting bond with their natural families as they do with their human families?

Life In Chains

animal eye
brown elephant with chain

( Intermediate Level )

Phoebe always knew, since she was young, that she wanted to become a veterinarian. Once, she saved a small featherless bird which had fallen from its nest. She raised it to the point where it could be set free. Her father had told her it would not survive without its mother but she proved him wrong.

Graduating from the university was a milestone for her. She was the first in her family to do so. Many offers from veterinarian clinics came in but she was unsure which direction to take.

It wasn’t until she read an article regarding the elephants used for tourism that she made her choice. She was going overseas. She wanted to work with exotic animals.

Her mission was to spread the word on the plight of the elephants. People always read about the poaching of these magnificent animals but why aren’t we aware of the use of elephants in tourism? Or entertainment and the conditions they have to endure?

She wanted to set them free. Looking into the eyes of these creatures and seeing their sadness she knew this is what she needed to do.

One particular elephant caught her eye. Her name is Buppha which means a flower. This elephant, now at the age of thirteen was taken from her mother at a tender age. She never wandered free in the jungle, instead she earned her owner thousands of dollars.

Buppha was sold several times until she was in the hands of a local man who ran a tourist trap offering elephant rides. Most of these elephants would work from sun up to sun down giving fifty to sixty rides a day.

When not in use, the elephant’s foot was shackled by one leg with a few feet of chain only allowing them a few steps in either direction. When they misbehaved a hook was used. Startling them to comply with the mahout.

“How could they abuse such a majestic animal.? You can look into their eyes and see they are unhappy.” She said her father when she showed him this article.

“Unfortunately, Phoebe, the people found a way to earn money using animals and this has been this way for years. You won’t change their minds. For most it is their way to provide for their families.”

“Maybe I cannot change their minds but I can try to save a few elephants. ” Phoebe picked up the magazine and showed him Buppha. “This one never ran free,” as she pointed to her. “She needs to know what it feels like to be part of a herd. She needs to know what it feels like to take a mud bath.

She set the magazine down and headed to her room. Her idea to research as much as she could and hopefully find an answer. If she could help just one elephant then maybe it could lead to another then another.

After hours surfing the internet she came to the conclusion that the only thing to do to save Buppha was to purchase her from the owner. How can she raise such funds? Would he be willing to sell her? Or be convinced to just give her up?

She contacted the author, Matthew Greene, of the article via email. He too agreed with her father. His whole idea of writing this piece was to bring awareness and hopefully the elephant rides would become obsolete.

She asked about Buppha. She was told she was in a smaller village and when not used for rides she would haul logs or other heavy materials thus earning money for her owner.

Matthew did state one very important thing to her in their conversation, “Everything has a price. If you give her owner a number, he may just accept it. I do want to warn you, he may simply find a younger elephant to purchase. Until elephants aren’t used in this business, this circle will continue.”

“There are a few so-called sanctuaries or safe places for the old and disabled elephants that can no longer earn their owners money but be very careful. They are still being ridden by their mahouts and are on display earning money for the owners. They are truly not free.”

“If you are able to get Buppha just know where she will live out the rest of her life. I can recommend a few places I have visited. These places care about the elephants one hundred percent.”

She thanked Matthew for his information and immediately started a Go Fund Me page to raise money towards the purchase of Buppha. She wrote about her and the other elephants and linked Matthew’ s article to hers.

Amazingly, within three days the page had raised seventeen thousand dollars. She was pleased that she was not the only one who seemed to care about Buppha and the others.

Within a month, Phoebe was heading to her destination. She hoped she had enough money to persuade Buppha ‘s owner to sell her. She knew she had a difficult battle ahead of her but she was up for the challenge.

Phoebe settled into her hotel room and quickly befriended a local man named Somsak who knew Buppha’ s owner. He offered to take her to meet this gentleman on Friday which she accepted. This would give her ample time to check out the safe havens that Matthew had told her about.

The next morning Phebe set off to investigate the sanctuaries that Matthew spoke so highly about. She was impressed with the second one. She observed the animals playing in the mud, bathing in the river and foraging for food with little interference with their assigned mahout.

This was definitely the place where she could see Buppha living for the rest of her life providing she could convince her current owner to sell her.

She had a wonderful conversation with the owner of Second Chance Haven for Elephants over lunch. Phoebe offered her services to be the project’s veterinarian. Since the haven ran on donations only she wasn’t offered a great salary.

She was offered, though, free room and board along with three meals a day. This suited Phoebe. She accepted the offer. She couldn’t wait to secure Buppha and start her new adventure as the veterinarian to these wonderful creatures.

Somsak was punctual. He arrived just before eight in the morning knowing they had almost a half day journey in front of them. He greeted Phoebe by the jeep and told her they must get started if they were to get to the village where Buppha was and return home before it got too late.

Finally the day came for her to see this elephant that she grew so fond of. Most of the trip was in silence. Phoebe was lost in her thoughts. “What if her owner wasn’t willing to sell when she traveled so far? What if she did not have enough money?

“Ma’am we will be at the village in less than ten minutes. Please let me talk to her owner first. Let me find out what type of mood he was in.”

Phoebe thought for a moment and shook her head to agree. She hadn’t been in the country long enough to know the culture. Maybe they do not like an outspoken person to tell them what is right or wrong. She hadn’t intended to say these things but she knew she would do just about anything to get Buppha.

They pulled up to what looked like a small arena with a small shade attached. There Phoebe sees Buppha. She looked down and saw her left leg in chains. Her head was swaying back and forth.

It took all of Phoebe’s willpower not to get out of the jeep and go to her. Somsak pleaded for her to stay inside the vehicle until the time was right.

Somsak emerged from the house with a taller man about twenty minutes later. As they walked towards the jeep Phoebe’s heart beat faster. She opened the door and stood quietly waiting until it was ok to speak.

Somsak broke the silence and introduced Phoebe to Kittisak. He was considered a wealthy and cunning man in his village. “Miss Phoebe, my friend here tells me you want to purchase my elephant, is this true?”

“Yes Sir. I read an article regarding her and others here but there was something in her eyes that drew me to her specifically.

What will a woman from America want with an elephant?”

I am now the veterinarian for Second Chance Haven for Elephants in the north. I would like to see her live out the rest of her life there. Let her live free without chains and have a family that she never had the chance to experience.”

She wondered if what she said was too abrupt as she watched Kittisak look at his elephant then at Somsak. As he turned to look at Phoebe she could see he had a slight smile on his face.

Well Miss Phoebe, everything has a price. I have not become a rich man by giving things away. I will set a price for her. I will take no less for what I ask. Give me a few moments.”

She knew exactly what he was doing. He was calculating what money he has put into her and what loss he may occur by selling her. She remembered what Mathew told her. He would want to buy another to replace her.

He turned to look at Phoebe and Somsak. “My wife tells me everyday that I am getting too old for this. Taking care of these elephants. It is time for us to enjoy the sunset years of our lives. We will never be able to spend all the money I have earned over the years.”

“Maybe today I am being a bit sentimental or maybe I am finally listening to my wife so I will give you Buppha. I will sign over ownership to you. I can see you genuinely care about her.”

He saw the huge smile on her face. She let out a heavy sigh as she moved closer to shake his hand. She hadn’t expected this outcome. “Thank you sir. Thank you very much. I will take care of her. I promise this to you.”

Now go over to say hello to Buppha. She is yours now.”

As she ran to greet Buppha she thought to herself, “Had Somsak said something to him? Or was he finally listening to his wife’s pleas?” Either way Buppha was going to her forever home free of chains and the money raised for her purchase would be donated to the sanctuary.

Phoebe approached Buppha who stood watching her. Her swaying head had stopped. Her eyes widened as Phoebe reached out her hand to touch her trunk.

“You’re going home girl. You and I will start our new lives together up north.” Buppha touched Phoebe’s face with her trunk as if she knew things would soon be better.

Written By: Angel

Follow Me On:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts To Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

I had traveled to Thailand in the past and it was amazing to see elephants up close and personal. Unfortunately, those too were used for elephant rides.

I was sadden when I seen a mother elephant in chains with its small baby huddled close to her. The baby would follow her as her mother gave rides to tourist trying desperately to keep up.

Thankfully we have people like @lek_chailert and @elephantnaturepark ( Instagram ) for their amazing commitment to many elephants who were used in tourism or the likes. These elephants come to her with not only physical problems but emotional also.

Elephants have strong bonds with their families, are intelligent and have feelings. It is nice to see them run free within the park being just an elephant . Creating bonds that were stripped from them at some stage of their lives.

Can you imagine having your world change overnight then live a duration of your life in chains?

If you appreciate what I do :


veterinarian – noun: a person qualified to treat diseased or injured animals

milestone – noun: an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development

plight – noun: a dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation

poaching – verb: stealing animals also or to take game or fish illegally

magnificent – adjective: beautiful, elaborate, or extravagant

tender age – noun: a young age

tourist trap – noun: a place that attracts and exploits tourists

shackled – verb: restrained with chains

mahout – noun: a person who works with, and tends an elephant

majestic – adjective: showing impressive beauty or dignity

research – noun: investigation or study

conclusion – noun: the end or finish of an event or process

awareness – noun: knowledge of a situation or fact

obsolete – adjective: no longer

amazingly – adverb: impressive

destination – noun: the place to which someone is going

persuade – verb: (of a situation or event) provide a sound reason for (someone) to do something

safe havens – noun: a place of refuge

foraging – verb: search widely for food

interference – noun: intervention

secure – adjective : safe

punctual – adjective: doing something at the agreed time

outspoken – adjective: rank in stating one’s opinions

willpower – noun: control

cunning – adjective: showing skill in achieving one’s ends by deceit

specifically – adverb: exact and clear

abrupt – adjective: sudden and unexpected


genuinely – adverb: truthful 

Question ( s ):

Where do we draw the line when it comes to the use of animals?

Is service animals included in this category?

Many argue the line is drawn when the animal is asked to perform things that are not natural to them. (like a dolphin playing basketball) Do you agree?