Luna is silent as Lootah shows his true colors. She'd hoped to be able to change that about him, and perhaps if he'd been with the herd during the winter she could have - but she does nothing to stop him, just stands there watching silently as he heads off into the horizon.
"Well," she says, turning back towards the herd after a while. "Guess that settles a couple of questions." Like some of the younger members she lays down, giving her weary legs a rest before the daunting exercise of swimming across the river. She's got her back turned now, to the waters and to Lootah. If her loyalty had been split before between old and new stallion, the choice has now been made for her.
Watching Lootah take off leaves questions, so many questions, for Hototo, but somehow the younger, newer mare knows better than to ask these questions; some things are better left not said.
She bows her head a little, however; and her mind is left thinking about the look in the eyes of the stallion before he left; that brief flash of sorrow, and then that sudden, firm look of determination. Perhaps something happened in the winter, before she found this herd; no, something had to have happened before she found them, but since she is the younger and less experienced, she doesn't feel right asking about it, especially not now. Maybe later, when they get to where they're going.
While resting, Hototo takes a moment or two to catch up mouthfuls of grass, to find a snack to eat to try and boost her energy for the moment, since that river may require more strength and energy than anything else in the travels they have done so far on this day.
Nukpana sends an irritated look back to Luna, as if offended that she'd even suggest that she'd argue against resting. Though to be fair, Nukpana probably would have argued if Luna hadn't given her that look. She's not tired at all, or at least not enough to admit, though she has to see the wisdom in giving Orion a little time.
She turns her attention to the other members of the herd, noticing Miel sidestep for the flower and giving her a scolding look. But that doesn't last long because she finds Sirocco's offer even more irritating; she'd be just as good for testing the river as he would be, you know! But aside from a vague flick of her tail she doesn't say anything. One could argue that she shouldn't be risking herself when she has a foal to think about, after all, though she's more than a little tired of having to 'think about' him.
These thoughts are interrupted when she spots Lootah moving out of the corner of her eye. It doesn't take her more than a few moments to realize what he was doing - if he had any intention of rejoining the herd as it's stallion, he'd surely wait on the riverbank. Unless, of course, he was afraid of Sirocco but she didn't see any fear there. No, all she sees is him turning his back on the herd both literally and figuratively. So this he repays her for giving him a second chance! "I knew you were nothing but a pile of manure from the moment I met you!" she neighs after him angrily, as she watches him head out of view. And when he is, there's still an angry glint in her eyes for some moments later, before she finally tosses her head and snorts. That seems to be the end of it, because she turns away from the river and looks rather content to simply stand there resting one hind leg and then the other. Suddenly waiting for the others to rest doesn't seem like that big of a deal.
Post by hahtalekin on Jun 13, 2010 18:04:56 GMT -5
Lootah's abrupt departure before he'd even properly arrived seems not to bother Sirocco in the slightest. At most, his expressions are briefly puzzled, ears sliding backwards and then forward with a sharp switch of his tail. But, in the end, he knows nothing more than that stallion was Lootah and he was, and apparently will remain in the past tense, a stallion of the herd. A toss of his head serves as a figurative shrug and dismissal before he turns to settle into his own bit of a rest. He locks his knees to take the weight off, letting his hooves take the brunt of his force. He'd be keen to lay down, but it's entirely too wet and muddy, and he's no desire to go getting stuck.
Miel gives her mane a little toss as Nukpana gives her a Look. Maybe it's a little bit of defiance. Or maybe it's just that it's gotten a bit tangled and needs shaking. She's not entirely sure in her own mind which it is... fortunately, the older mare becomes distracted, so she escapes that scolding for now.
The young mare's attention is then drawn across the water, and she watches as the strange (to her, at least) stallion turns and runs. She's not quite sure what to make of that - a herd only has one stallion, of course, but... the other mares who have been here longer seemed to recognize him. And they didn't even seem angry with him. So why is he running off? She can't quite understand it, social creature that she is.
She gives herself a little shake again, and a few bits of mud fly off her. Yes, she'll definitely be glad to get clean again... just as long as she doesn't float away downriver.
The mud honestly doesn't bother Hototo, if anything she tries to roll around in it a bit like a younger foal might, if only because sometimes the mud can keep away the biting flies and insects. Sometimes. Other times it can just make you look like a derned fool.
This in mind, she eventually rolls back to her belly, then slowly stands, giving her legs a stretch by stepping in place for a few moments, then getting slightly closer to the river; enough at least to dip her head and take a few careful drinks of the brisk, cold water; which sends her ears back as she jerks away from it to avoid getting smacked by a stick in the muzzle. "It's cold," she announces, to no one in particular, "But that makes it taste good. Don't know how it'll make it feel to the skin though except maybe shocking enough to take the breath away." She looks back to Nukpana and Luna, recalling things they had said.
"You crossed this in the winter? With the ice over it, I imagine? You two are braver than any horse I've known. It's an honor to know you both!" She smiles warmly to the lead mares; always a cheerful soul.