The horse stamped, the shoes on his hooves scraping the concrete of the stable. He shook his head and snorted, showing his agitation as one of the men opened the stable door and approached, head collar in hand. He pawed the ground, backing to the rear of his confinement, violently shaking his head and reading up in fear.
“Come on, you stupid animal!” The man with the head collar growled. The other man joined him and together they backed the house into the far corner and grabbed his head. He tried to rear, pull his head from their grip but they were strong, and practiced. They forced the head collar on and pulled on it. He pulled his head back once more but as one man pulled, the other pushed from behind. Struggling, the three combatants excited the stable to find a tiny, old woman standing outside, shotgun pointed at the man pulling the horse. With a deafening crack, the old woman pulled the trigger and the hit the thief squarely in his chest. The horse screamed and bucked violently, frightened by the noise and the sudden backwards flight of the man he didn’t trust. His hooves connected with the head of the second man who, in total ignorance, was still pushing on the houses hind quarters. Even over the screams of the horse, the old woman could hear the crack of the man’s scull against the iron shoe of the powerful horse’s hind leg. Talking quietly, the old woman reached out to calm the horse.
“It’s alright now, Duke. They won’t bother you again.”