It had been a long voyage, eleven months exactly, getting to here from there. My assigned quarters were comfortable, and all my needs had been seen to, but I could not wait to explore the new world. Maybe I had cabin fever, I was becoming very uncomfortable, and my traveling capsule seemed to have shrunk. At the beginning of my voyage there had been plenty of room for me to move around, but now I felt restrained. Close to my final destination, I began to have doubts that I would make a successful landing. My environmental suit had just sprung a huge leak, and it collapsed around me.
I put my foot through the escape hatch, and I encountered icy air. The blast of frigid air changed my mind about putting my footprints on this planet, and I decided to stay inside where I was warm and safe. I tried to pull my foot back in, but an unknown force was pushing on my backside as it guided me toward the escape hatch. Help! My left foot dangled out there, and the pressure from behind was getting stronger, but my right foot was stuck. I struggled to move it in line with my left leg, but it didn’t want to cooperate. Finally I succeeded in placing my legs in a good position to land. I stretched my neck, put my nose between my front legs and that was when I tumbled out onto the hard prickly surface of an alien environment. The hard landing did not tear the collapsed suit from my face, and I was too tired to struggle with it.
It had been hard work getting into this strange new world. Exhaustion had taken the edge off of my long awaited arrival, and breathing in this atmosphere was proving to be impossible. A soft nickering sound from my mother reassured me, but her voice sounded different in this new world. At first I thought I heard other voices nicker a welcome, but their voices too were fading. My head was spinning and I began feeling very weak. Part of my protective suit was now blocking any air supply. The lifeline that had attached me to my mother had broken when I fell to earth. The remains of the umbilical cord that provided nourishment and oxygen during my long journey dangled from my tummy.
An alien sound tickled my ears, a whisper. There is the foal; it is lying against the stall door. Open the door carefully, Bill, and pull the placenta away from the baby’s nostrils, so that it can breathe.
Strong appendages gently removed the covering from my nose, and I took my first deep breath; relief flooded through me. While I tried to recharge from my near death experience, I heard a grunt; it was my mother. She had been resting in the deep straw too. She was very tired and weak after helping me into this world. Soon she rose to her feet and came close to me. Mom began pushing me to stand up too.
She nuzzled and encouraged me, “Come on, son, on your feet.”
Easy for her to say, she was already an old pro at standing, but I was having trouble untangling my long gangly legs. Instinct and constant encouragement from Mom made me try again. I gathered my back legs under me and shoved.
“OOPS! Not quite so hard, son.” Mother cautioned me, as I tumbled onto my side. “It would probably help, son, to uncross your front legs first. Try again.”
Three tries later, I succeeded. The effort was sure worth it! Mom guided me back along her large warm body, until I found her fresh supply of sweet milk. It warmed my belly and it made me feel stronger.
I plopped down for a nap once my tummy was full, and that was when the front wall opened. A chilly gust of cold air ushered strange two-legged creatures into my world. The two of them came in through an opening that had appeared in the wall, as if by magic. I tried to get a good look at them, but everything was fuzzy. The larger of the creatures knelt down beside me, and it started to rub me with a soft cloth. I couldn’t see it, but I recognized its smell. This alien had pulled the covering from my nose, when I first arrived. Some of my fear concerning this invasion was lessening. This creature had helped me, and the vigorous rubbing felt wonderful. The smaller biped was busy drying my mom with a big soft rag, and it was talking to her, nonstop.
You are such a good mother, Sandy. I heard it say.
Big news flash, I thought. I might be new colt on the block, but I had already figured that out. I could feel its eyes, like twin laser beams, as it turned to look at me, and I had the feeling it knew what I was thinking.
Then the smaller creature moved closer to me, and was staring intently at me. The larger creature stopped rubbing my damp body to question the other alien. What’s wrong, Mom?
Look, Bill, Sandy’s little bay colt has socks on his hind legs.
I recognized the sound of its voice, though it was different outside my traveling capsule. Many months I listened to that voice as it talked to my mother. Not that I understood its language, but Mom did. She did a bang up job of translating for me. Horses are born understanding one another; it is part of our survival skills. The alien’s language was more difficult, a lot of it sounded like static. For instance, I was not sure what socks were, and I felt nothing on my back legs except the prickly straw that Mom had explained was our bedding. The smaller alien squatted down next to the larger one that had saved my life. It talked to me in a soft voice that reassured me, and it stroked my neck. I was really getting into all the attention.