The Legend Of The Bloody Shouldered Mare

Poem By June Gothberg

Many years ago in the desert of Arabia, there was a Bedouin warrior who owned a very special Arabian mare - a mare he rode into a battle and to whom he entrusted his life.

Theirs was a very special relationship, a bond of trust, love and mutual respect. Either would have given their life for the other. In fact, their bond of trust was so strong that the mare often 'read her master's thoughts, ' doing exactly what he needed at exactly the right time, allowing them to win many battles and to be the envy of all the Bedouin tribes.

Years passed and one day in a fierce battle the master was severely wounded, falling across the neck and shoulder of his beloved war mare.

Although her master was unconscious and she was miles from home, the mare carefully balanced him across her shoulder, carefully carrying him toward home. She went for days without food or water to return her master to his family.

When the courageous mare finally arrived at the encampment, she was exhausted and weak, her master was dead. As the family carefully removed the master's body, they saw that the mares shoulder was heavily stained with his blood, leaving a distinct red mark on her shoulder.

Although they had lost their leader, the Bedouin family was eternally grateful to the mare for delivering his body from battle. They knew that the long journey had been very difficult for the courageous mare, and they were very concerned for her because she was heavily in foal.

Finally the time of her foaling arrived, and there was great concern for the cherished war mare. But when the long-awaited foal was born, he was vigorous, healthy and of exceptional quality. He also bore the identical 'bloody shoulder' that his mother had from her master's blood.

It was then that the tribe realized that Allah had rewarded this mare and their tribe for their courage, loyalty and faith and that the bloody shoulder was a reminder of his favor. Since that time, hundreds of years have passed, but once in a great while there is a mare of exceptional courage beauty and quality who foals a very special foal graced by God with the bloody shoulder.

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