Originally shared on Facebook on April 10th 2018.
Everyone knows horses are children of the sun and the sea. Where they meet, in the horizon and the rainbow and the warm, warm winds, there they come, the sound of their hoofbeats in the echo of the waves. Horses inhabit that peculiar space between worlds, where none can travel except, well, on horseback; but that is not the story we’ll tell today.
Once, long ago, well before the first human walked the land, the Sun Mare became curious and went to wander the land herself. This was not the first time she did so. This was her secret, for the loved the feel of the wind in the fire of her mane and the sizzling of grass under her feet.
She was a beautiful mare, one of many. Her eyes had the colour of the cloudless sky, her mane burned and drifted in the breeze. Her pelt had the gold of the summer sun, yellow and blue and orange, the indefinable colour of the stars. Drifting the world was her favourite pastime when the richness of Mother Sun was too much, and she grew bored with their games.
Walking the Earth was not allowed, but the Sun Mare cared little for rules.It was one day, during one of her forbidden trips, that she took upon herself to visit the beach. This was land she had never visited before, for the touch of water scared her, although it caused her no harm. Sun horses do not need to drink, or eat, or even breathe: they are star-children, beings of fusion and breaking atom. Their feed is the matter of space, their drink the drips of sun storms.
The beach was a novel sight, a sight she never dreamed of. The waves rolled against the sand, gentle eddies topped in white. Seaweed burned against her legs. Her nose wrinkled with the scent of salt; colourful fishes swam away from the burning of her presence. The sea spread before her, like a living breathing thing. It rolled over itself, all greens and blues and greys.So enthralled she was by the sight of the sea, she scarcely noticed the Sea Horse there, watching her.
Back then, the Sea Horses were not at all like we know them today. They were not the strange little fishes we sometimes see in aquariums and in the wild. No, Sea Horses are their own kind of animal: they are the children of the deep. Of the deepest mysteries of the sea, where not even the light of the sun can reach. There, in the silence that is not silent, there they live: beautiful, strange animals, with long fishtails riddled with iridescent scales.
There in the dark they move, pale, sinuous bodies, eyes dark and unseeing. These are the dragon-horses, the ones the Chinese call longma: wise, strange creatures. Half animal, half monster, and lovely.
Though he could not see, he saw her now, for he, like her, was not like the others. No; his dark mane hid his dark eyes, stark as an oil spill against the paleness of his neck. She had not yet seen him, but he knew, and he saw. And he felt the heat of her fire-body, though the sea around him was cool and uncaring.
People say opposites attract; people are often wrong. Opposites rarely exist; they turn upon themselves and meet at the edges. Closer to each other than to others like them. When her cloudless eyes met the sightless ones, the skein of fate brought them together. It was as inevitable as the rise and fall of the sun over the sea.It was brief, this meeting of Sun and Sea; it was not meant to last long. There was no need for it, as fate wove itself rather neatly. As the sun fell and night rose in the sky, the Sun Mare returned to her home among the stars. The Sea Horse, to his place within the deep.Yet no meeting of souls rests without consequence. Time went on, as it does. The Sun Mare visited other places, even wandered other beaches. The Sea Horse swam other seas and other chasms under the waters. Life went on, as it always does.Until one day, as these things go, she returned to the beach where they first met.
It was there that her Foal was born: one that was neither Sun nor Sea, but something else altogether. Something new that was not meant to be, but was nonetheless.Instead, this Foal made her home in the wind, and the clouds, the rainbows and rivers and unreachable horizons. She wandered from place to place, never stopping and never home. Yet, at home anywhere and everywhere.
Close to all, yet belonging nowhere: this is the fate of hybrids such as she. It was not a cloudless existence; but it was not stormy all the time, either.It was what it was, no more, no less.And it would be years, many more years still, before the first Dawn Horses would walk the Earth: the ancestors of those we ride and show and love. These, unlike her, came forth from the land itself, from the many twists and turns life took. But she, she found them there, the small, scurrying things among the brushes. And it would be there she found her home: she fashioned them to her likeness, more or less, and raised them among men and women alike.
This was how the first horses, as we know them today, were born, and why they always carry the nature of Sun and Sea in their bodies, while belonging to neither.