Legend of The Spirited Horse

white horseIn the beginning, there was only the Sun and Earth. There was a woman who lived on the Earth, who rode a white horse named N’Tuki, meaning ‘spirited one’; and her rider was named Fa’Rashi, meaning ‘spirited rider’.

This particular horse was special; for when it was to die, it would be cast into the heavens for all humans to see. Fa’Rashi’s job was to keep this horse clean; to preserve its white pelt until it died. So every time she took N’Tuki out riding, she would return and immediately wash her so that no mud-stains defiled her white coat; and so she did.

N’Tuki got pregnant and five months later she bore a filly, just as white as her mother. But tragedy befell N’Tuki that day; she died during child-birth, and Fa’Rashi saw N’Tuki’s spirit rise into the night-air and sprinkle among the heavens; she became the stars. Then Fa’Rashi heard the voice of a God, it said: “Your task now is to keep N’Tuki’s child free from any blemishes that might stain her white coat; for when she dies, she shall be cast into the heavens for all humans to see. And if you do this, you shall await a similar fate.”

So every time she took N’Tuki’s daughter, N’Kuki, meaning ‘young spirited one’, out riding, she would return and wash her immediately so that no mud-stains defiled her white coat.

But one day, Fa’Rashi took N’Kuki out riding in the night to look at the stars; this proved not to be smart idea. Fa’Rashi wanted to feel the summer-air rush past her; through her hair and behind her ears, so she urged her horse to ride faster and faster. But Fa’Rashi could not see where she was going, and they plummeted into a ditch, covering N’Kuki’s left side with mud. Three of her legs were injured and Fa’Rashi was unconscious.

N’Kuki knew what to do. She climbed out of the ditch and galloped to their home, each stride weakening her legs and deepening her pain. N’Kuki quickly picked up a sack of healing herbs from the teepee with her teeth and started for Fa’Rashi; her legs killing her but she rode on. Presently, she was limping along when she stumbled over the depression at the edge of the ditch; her legs crumbling beneath her. N’Kuki slid next to Fa’Rashi and chewed the herbs into a paste, then administered it with her lips onto Fa’Rashi’s wounds; she fainted just after.

In the morning, Fa’Rashi awoke in good health but only to find N’Kuki had died saving her life. She spent the day in mourning and awaited the night. When night came she gazed upon the stars and found a brighter, larger one among them. N’Kuki had become the moon, but she was not pure; for it is easily seen that on one side, she is wrought with spots and stains. And because Fa’Rashi faulted in her duty, she will not join the moon and the stars.

reader submitted
Wesley from Boise, Idaho