A Voice for the Shackleford Mustangs

By Elizabeth Loftin

Wild and free I was born to be

A wild mustang galloping by the sea

Wild and free with nothing to fear

My dam and my sire were always near.

Up on a dune top my sire would stand watch,

While down in the sandpits my sister foal was born.

And all over the island love was adorn

For every new mustang foal who was born!

The winters were harsh and very, very cold

But we were always safe and warm, encircled by the old.

My aunts and my uncles and grandsires and granddams

Would tel-tales of worse storms, and even colder days

And remind us of springtime with whispers in our ear,

That sunshine and warm days were very near.

For as long as I can remember, it happened as I was told

By my dam and my sire and the ones who'd grown old!

For as long as I've been here, a wild pony by the sea,

I've had nothing to fear and no one to harm me!

I don't understand though what happened this year.

Strangers came upon our home with bigger horses than our own,

And dogs that chased and nipped at our heels

To run us toward horses that had four wheels!

Into a place where we couldn't escape

And they shut us in behind a big steel gate!

I know I'll never see my sister foal again,

Or Spirit and Elizabeth's Majestead friend!

For the first time in all my life,

My mouth is dry for the fear of my life!

Things got quiet and I prayed real hard,

They'd see their mistake and just let us go,

But when it got dark, I heard the elder's sigh

A neigh of fear as they gasped and they trembled

"Oh NO"

A huge grey thing slipped against our shore

And the men with grim faces came once more!

They pushed and they shoved and encouraged us to load

Onto this monster, sitting in the surf.

Then farther and farther they took us from home,

The land of security we had always known!

I remember my great grandsire whispering in my newborn ear,

Just the day after the morning I was born,

And he said "a fine stallion my grandson you'll grow up to be,"

And "I'll be waiting in Heaven where all horses are forever free."

I'm so thankful grandsire never saw this day-

'Cause grandsire just laid down his sweet head

And passed in his sleep, in the marsh bed,

With all the mustangs watching guard

And each one had that last talk, before grandsire slipped away.

But I feel in my spirit, and deep in my soul,

I'm going to die too, way before I grow old!

Written by Elizabeth Loftin, November 21, 1996

Written in memory, in dedication with love and respect to the many foals who died way before their time and even those who were yet unborn.