“Threshold of Escape” by Sonne; August 2007
Eyes flash open, pupils wide and alert.
‘Something is wrong’—my senses plea to me.
Familiarity is gone; safety and sanctuary are suddenly lost.
The bright open fields have been left behind and I find myself where I have stood before;
A place of vague familiarity, for I have been here and seen this place many times
Yet I have never made myself acquainted with it. It is a site of threats, dangers to me and my mind, a place of strangeness and discomfort.
I wonder if I have led myself here,
Or if my docile mind has submitted to someone else as my leader?
‘I don’t belong here!’—My mind races as I sense hidden danger.
I feel and understand that something is not right,
Something lurks in this place that I should avoid.
Hooves express anxiousness as they briefly lift and drop in cycles;
Tail draped of black curtains flicks and thrashes in worry;
Ears alert and erect twitch as they carefully listen in their attempts to detect the threat.
Yet fear sets in further—alertness fades into expressions of near terror.
Maybe irrational are these feelings, but instinct calls, and it has no concern for rationality.
Instinct demands survival, it demands attention and action,
It demands I heed its luring call.
My eyes scan widely but fail to discover the danger I feel approaching, ever closer.
Intensity increases as I yearn to leave this place, to embrace my best defense
—To run or suffer.
Yet suddenly I’m stricken with shock as I ready myself to sprint away:
‘Something has caught me; I can’t run!’
My mind screams out with no words—‘THREAT!!’
I feel my reins captured by the enemy before me.
Neck arched, ears swung back, eyes wide in terror,
And mouth slung open to emit shrill screams;
As head throws and thrashes side to side, up and down,
In futile attempts to pull free the reins.
Forelegs rear, pawing ebony hooves to the dark air around me;
Hindlegs sink into the soil,
Pushing my body away from danger in a vicious struggle of power.
Muscles tensed, mind in fear and terror, body battling to win this challenge of strength.
No thoughts of whether I will free myself and flee from here—only focus on succeeding.
No concept of possibilities, only that I must get free and leave this place
…Leave this threat.