Ender lives in interesting times. Regrettably, that is very much a curse. In 2010 and 2011, Ender was a thorn in the side of a powerful bay band stallion. It was hard to say whether Ender would be successful. He had the determination, but he also took some pretty bad licks.
Ender’s chances at the mare ended the same way every 2011 story in White Mountain ended. The band stallion and all but one of his mares were rounded up and removed. All Ender’s time and effort was for nothing. He proceeded to spend 2012 relaxing with the herd’s most beloved gimp, Heaven.
Case in Point: July
It was an innocuous morning, as far as such things go. Ender met up with Gladiator with little excitement. The pair then joined up with two other bachelors to form a merry group. Ender immediately went after the younger stallion Reimann. Ender then went on to have a go with Gladiator & Levi.
Ender is, after all, a playful fellow.
The merry quartet moved off and so did Livi and I. (Livi’s awesome and you should check out her blog). Not longer after, we heard quite the commotion atop the hill. Golly gee! Walking up, we found the lovely bay roan mare Aurora and her son at the heart of it. This story will lead nicely into her story, so you’ll have to wait for that. For now, just know that she gets around (if you know what I mean and I think you do). On this particular trip, she was with Flax. Flax being the handsome, handsome sorrel with the flaxen mane. Flax has had a pretty rough year, and has the scars to prove it.
Her previous stallion, Pippen, was dogging closely behind. No one was particularly happy with this development. Pippen wanted Aurora back. Aurora wanted to be an independent, single lady. Flax wanted Aurora to quit being so crabby and stop kicking him, already. Aurora’s poor yearling colt, Sparky, just wants to quit being ignored and have his existence acknowledged in this blog.
And thus the melee begins.
Don’t worry overly much about the name dropping, friends. Just go with the flow. And if you really want to know more about the individual horses involved, you can check them out here.
This initial excitement drew the attention of Orion, who is easily the most powerful band stallion in the southern portion of White Mountain. Orion attracted Shorty. Shorty in turn inadvertently led Ender & Gladiator to the scene.
It was peaceful for a few moments. Battle lines were drawn while each stallion assessed their position and what threats the other posed. Each stallion seemed to think they were the big man in the situation and would have no trouble knocking off Flax in a bid for Aurora’s “affections”. Especially Shorty. There are few things more intimidating than a spunky half-ton animal with little dog syndrome.
Shorty started it off proper. Flax had no trouble getting Shorty to veer away, but in the process nearly gave Pippen the opening he needed. In the process of getting Aurora back from Pippen, Flax and co. veered a little too close to Orion’s band. Aurora saw this as the perfect opportunity to tell Flax how she really felt.
By this time, Ender has been in the mix on the fringes, fighting with Shorty and the other “fringe” bachelors. Ender figured that Aurora would surely like Ender more than Flax, and took a more active role as Aurora made a break for it. Flax stopped and took the time to tell Ender off properly, while Gladiator was distracted by Shorty.
Pippen was not conned into starting anything with Ender. Pippen was the epitome of focus through the entire scene, refusing to be distracted from his singular goal of Aurora. Ender let that slide and went back towards Flax. That set him up nicely to try to take a pot shot at Orion, who galloped up to reconsider the fray.
Is your head spinning yet? I suspect Ender’s head was spinning as well. At this point, Ender knew he was out of the running and did not have a serious chance of stealing Aurora away. There were too many other stallions, several of whom were more powerful and experienced than he was. But rather than bowing out gracefully, Ender saw this as an opportunity to mess up life for all of the other stallions. It’s one of his more charming traits, really.
Since Ender had decided he was going after anything male, he turned on Gladiator. Gladiator was not amused. Before things could get really heated, the band stallion Fuego arrived. This quite possibly saved a friendship, since Ender has continued his on-again off-again hang out time with Gladiator into the winter. While Ender goofed around with Fuego, Gladiator warned the band stallion Orion away.
Gladiator is wiser than Ender when it comes to such matters. While Gladiator had been an active participant from the beginning, he held himself back, letting the younger bachelors turn on each other while he saved his energy. It did not ultimately pay off, it made more sense than the rest of the nuts who didn’t seem to have a strategy at all.
Okay, I lied. Gladiator may have been “biding his time”, but boy did he get into it with the others towards the end.
Oh yeah, and at some point Eight (Fuego’s satellite) showed up to add his opinion to the mix.
As the dust settled, seven stallions walked away empty handed. The winner? Flax. Yep. All that drama for nothing. Flax managed to hold on to his less than amorous lady. If anything, that was the easy part. Getting Aurora to willingly move away from the chaos was… considerably more challenging. Mares.
The great part is that Ender wasn’t even done yet. Later that day, Livi & I stumbled across Ender again. He and Gladiator ran into two new bachelor stallions for a brief spout of fun and play. Photos of that must be sadly limited since the light was bad and Jebediah has a medical problem that makes for unfortunate photos.
This is the part where I should probably have a moral. Or maybe some insight about Ender. So here’s what I’ve come up with: Ender is fun. No really. That boy knows how to bring the party.
Heck, maybe that is something we could all learn from Ender. Sometimes you just gotta jump into the fray and enjoy yourself. Even if it hurts a little and you get knocked around a bit, you’ll still come out on the other side seeing the world a little more clearly. Because hey, you tried, and even if you failed you came out of it with a heck of a story to tell.
We live in a society that encourages us to find what we really want and to go for it – do whatever it takes to attain that goal. Sometimes you find it’s not worth stepping on everyone else to reach that goal. And sometimes that goal just isn’t attainable. No matter how much blood, sweat, and tears you put in, it isn’t going to happen. Ender didn’t really stand a chance at convincing Aurora to join him over all the other interested stallions. At some point, even Ender clued into that.
So how did Ender handle that? He kept the chaos going. You could see the difference when watching in real time. One moment Ender was serious, and the next he was showboating around for the heck of it. Once Ender started acting like a goofy four year old, the other horses joined in. Even the older fellows like Gladiator and Eight let loose for a while. It’s a little hard to be angry or mopey about losing the severely cantankerous love of your life when you’re playing around with your bros.
I’m considering it a New Years Resolution for the next time life cuts me down. The next time I fail epically at something that really mattered to me, I am going to respond by saying to heck with it and creating a little lighthearted chaos of my own. It sure beats the other options. And hey, who doesn’t love a good free for all now and again?