Nip dove after Silver, her hooves kicking up great clods of dirt and muck which only served to churn the ground further into a sucking pool of mud. Silver, his flanks streaked already with grime, buffeted Nip’s face none-too-gently with his wings, causing the mare to stumble backwards to regain her footing. She wasn’t much better off than SilverRain. Her vividly lime green mane was matted with earth but unlike some of the other mares of her adoptive “herd”, she didn’t seem to mind. Much the opposite in fact- she relished the bantering and tussling of her brothers, or at least the less socially awkward ones. Her sisters, Gem in particular, despaired at ever making her into a “true lady”, which confused Nip to no end. For this reason, she often chose to accompany Silver, Galaxy (when he felt particularly social) and little Ovela, as the three Serians’ lusts for adventure and general carefree nature were a match to her own. She felt awkward in her attempts to imitate Gem’s fawning over stallions and Karma’s minor vanities.
Nip barely avoiding Silver’s snapping teeth as she was jolted quickly away from her latter train of thought to take stock of the scuffle at hand. With a laugh, she flicked dirt clods at Silver’s face with her tail, chuckling as the stallion blinked profusely for a few moments. Without warning, she charged and checked him, throwing her entire weight behind the shove. Unbalanced, the stallion fell into a pool of mud, where he proceeded to laugh uncontrollably. As he attempted to rise, he lost his footing in the slippery grasping mud, and floundered. He mock pleaded with Nip, and the mare all but rolled her eyes at his attempts.
“C’mon Nip,” Silver complained loudly, “help a stallion up, will ya? Geez, I think you bruised a few ribs somewhere in there!”
Nip laughed triumphantly and shook her mane in much the same manner as a dog might shake his coat coming in from the rain. Mud flew in spatters at Silver’s side as the mare nipped none-too-gently at the stallion’s ear in passing, delighting in her victory.
“Quit your griping, you great lummox, and get out of the mud already. You have four legs. You can help yourself!” she replied teasingly. None the less, she assisted the stallion to stand after many failed attempts that resulted in them both collapsed in heaps, rolling in the mud with laughter. Once Silver was upright, he grinned rakishly at the mare.
“I want a rematch,” he stated simply, before tearing off in the direction of the cottage, muddy tail streaming out behind him like a banner.
Nip turned to watch him go, and smiled as she saw the Lady approach, clad in sensible trousers and work gear. She said nothing to the mare, but sat quietly in the grass. Nip, without an invitation, approached and lay beside her. Normally restless, she sat quietly as the lady idly plucked dried dirt from her mane, combing through the hair with her bare fingers, not minding the feel of the gritty earth in the slightest. She did not comment on Nip’s appearance, her behaviour, or her cleanliness in general. She simply accepted and understood. Their bond had not been easy, but the Lady had dealt with the abandoned before, and understood the undercurrents of occasional resentment and rough behaviour. Nip’s tomboyish attitude had nothing to do with her severed bond from her previous owner, and everything to do with her personality, which the Lady understood. It was when the mare was softer, more contemplative that the Lady knew she was mourning, even if she remembered little from her previous bond.
With a happy contented whicker, the mare lipped gently at the Lady’s hair before placing her dirt smeared head in the Lady’s lap, enjoying the moment of calm and the sense of family and home.