Swanfoal's First Light
"I will call you Swanfoal," her mother whickered.
Swanfoal looked at her mother's glowing silver fur and blinked. She felt a nudge behind her and looked around to see a dark grey colt behind her. He blinked at her with brown eyes.
"StarHerd has truly blessed you, Silverstream," came the whinny of a horse behind her.
That must be my mother's name, Silverstream, Swanfoal thought. She turned to look at the horse behind her and whickered in surprise. The horse had green wings! She struggled to get up and felt something on her back. She had wings too! She craned her head around to get a better look at them. They were pure white, as was she.
"It is rare to have two healthy foals, and one is winged," the green-winged horse went on.
"Thank you, Mosswings," whickered Silverstream.
"It's about time you got up," neighed the grey colt.
"Now don't be rude to your sister, Mudfoal," Silverstream whinnied.
He must be my brother, Swanfoal thought. She snuggled against her mother, grateful for her warmth.
Swanfoal turned to see a black mare come and greet Silverstream. As they touched muzzles, the black mare neighed, "Congratulations on two healthy foals, Silverstream.
"Thanks, Darkpool," Silverstream replied.
"Darkpool nodded. "Come and see your new denmates, Toadfoal."
A dark brown colt walked up and nodded to Swanfoal and Mudfoal. He was bigger than them, but only a few moons older.
Swanfoal looked around at her den. She was in a cave with moss scattered on the floor. She could hear the rushing of water and the whinnies of many horses. As she looked around, a white stallion trotted into the den. His eyes widened in surprise when he saw her, and then he looked at Silverstream.
"Waterpearl," Silverstream called. "Come and see your foals."
This must be my father, Swanfoal thought. She watched the muscles ripple beneath his glossy pelt as he walked over to her and reached down his nose to greet her.
"That's Swanfoal," Silverstream neighed proudly.
"Hello, Swanfoal," Waterpearl whickered.
Then he walked over to Mudfoal and touched noses with him.
"That's Mudfoal," Silverstream neighed.
"Hello, Mudfoal," Waterpearl whickered.
"Oh, Silverstream. They're beautiful," Waterpearl whickered, blinking lovingly at Silverstream.
Swanfoal saw a black and white paint mare come to the entrance and call to her father.
"Waterpearl, you're wanted for the patrol," she neighed.
"Coming, Rippletail," he replied.
He walked out of the cave, throwing one last proud glance behind him.
Then, a glowing golden stallion came into the cave. Silverstream lowered her head to her foals and whispered, "That's Reedstar, the leader of our Herd. Be very respectful."
Swanfoal and Mudfoal both nodded. Swanfoal looked up at the powerfully built golden stallion.
"So it is true. You have had a winged filly and a healthy colt. Congratulations, I am sure they will make worthy additions to WaterHerd."
Silverstream dipped her head. "Thank you, Reedstar."
Reedstar nodded at her and cast one more glance at Swanfoal before heading back up the slope.
"I think it's time the two of you got to sleep," Silverstream gently whickered.
Swanfoal nodded and lowered herself onto the soft moss, burrowed up against her mother, and fell asleep.
She woke up to find another horse walking into the cave. She ducked her head under her mother to look, and saw it was an old, white stallion.
"Mistyhoof said there was a winged horse in here," he grumbled. "I knew it wasn't true, of course. She also said it had amazing powers."
"Welcome, Wetpelt," Silverstream dipped her head respectfully.
Swanfoal stepped around her mother to wake up Mudfoal and saw Wetpelt's eyes widen in surprise.
"It's true, then," he wheezed, looking at Swanfoal in awe.
Swanfoal didn't understand why horses kept looking at her that way. She turned her back on him and nudged Mudfoal. He raised his head and sleepily blinked at her.
Wetpelt turned and walked out of the cave after neighing a hasty good-bye to Silverstream.
Silverstream sighed. "Between him and Mistyhoof the whole Herd will know. Now they'll all be crowding in here, wanting a look."
Darkpool looked sympathetically at her.
Swanfoal sensed her mother's distress and rubbed her nose against her chest. Silverstream looked down at her fondly. Swanfoal felt a nudge and turned to see Mudfoal.
"Let's play," he neighed, shaking his head.
Swanfoal nodded, and forgot about everything that had happened as she chased Mudfoal around the nursery.