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Briton

The Story Of The White Mare

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Briton

So I wrote this little story of how the White Horse came to be. I think it needs tweaking, but I'll work on that:

 

Three brothers set out one day to hunt down the white mare of the tomb, who served to deliver the dead into the next life, as she alone could leap over the hedgemounds into the Great Clearings. To hunt the white mare required great skill, rather than pure strength, so this was a test of their minds. She lived in the northern chalky tundra and could disappear against the snow at will.

When the three brothers arrived, they set up camp, agreeing only to meet at sunset as sleeping together by the light of the fire the only safe way through the night.

 

After the first day, the youngest brother went back to find the other two cooking meat. Shocked, he asked if they had caught the white mare. Neither had caught her, but all three had seen her, but then lost her. This continued for five more nights. She would be seen, but not caught. On the seventh night the moon shone in the bright point in its wax and wane, and the youngest brother returned with a full knapsack. The other two asked him what he had, and the youngest brother replied that he had just found some good quartz to take home. Suspicious, they waited until he had walked away, as he said he needed some healing herbs. The youngest brother came back to see the bag open and the three large pieces of dirty amber by the fire side. The middle brother was sat there, the older brother was not present.

 

The two older brothers had been drinking and the middle brother told the younger to tell him where he got the amber from. The younger brother, realizing his angry brother was threatening him, told him that he had found much amber hidden. The middle brother demanded to be shown where the amber was hidden and the younger brother agreed to show him the next day. The younger brother said “If I show you I will have to show our brother also and then I will not have even half of what I found!” The middle brother said

“We will have to stop him. If we don’t do something, he will kill the both of us after learning. He is like that.”

The younger brother said

“I have some herbs that will keep him asleep. Let me put them in his furs and when we wake tomorrow, we can leave without him.” The middle brother agreed, watched him put sleeping leaves in the older brother’s furs and left to relieve himself as the older brother returned.

 

The older brother also demanded to be shown the location of the amber, and the younger brother said again “If I show you, I will have to show our brother also and then I will not have even half of what I found!” The older brother said

“We need to stop him. If we don’t do something, he will just kill the both of us after learning. He is like that.”

The younger brother said again “I have some herbs that will keep him asleep. Let me put them in his furs and when we wake tomorrow, we can leave without him.”

 

The older brother agreed and watched the younger brother put the sleeping leaves in the middle brother’s furs.

As the middle brother returned, the youngest got up and left the camp also to relieve himself.

The middle brother said to the older brother

“If we do anything to him now, he can’t show us where the amber is, the sun is already down. I have gathered this plant, let’s put it on his meat and he will not know what has happened until dusk tomorrow.” So they agreed to do this, thinking each would be the last remaining brother, able to take all the amber.

 

The younger brother returned, and they ate. Then they retired to sleep.

 

The next morning, the younger brother saw the other two fast asleep. Until he took the herb from under them, the brothers would be in deep sleep. He took the opportunity to have a day hunting the white mare before taking the amber for himself.

As the sun was sinking below the brow of a hill, he saw the white mare on the slope. Against the green of the grass, the white mare could not hide. He drew his bow and arrow, watched, and aimed. Then the younger brother had a cramp in his stomach, but he still let go before falling over. The arrow struck the mare directly in the heart. The young man clenched his teeth and curled up. He bled inside and never showed any injury. The young man looked up and saw the mare collapse without dignity. He said to himself

“I have killed the mare, but for what? I will die because my brothers and I betrayed each other in greed and now neither myself nor the white mare will get the noble death we could have had. It did not even try and hide, and I did not even try and stop my brothers or myself.”

 

The white mare, who died on the slope of that hill, never left. She remains there until this day pure as snow and can be seen from great distances. She died without dignity, but lives on with more than she ever had.

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Moonhunter

Nice :)

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Briton

Thanks.

 

It started out in a lesson against greed. Which I guess it still could remain to be so.

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Ellinas

You may have caused much future confusion over the origin myth of white horse landscapes. Give it a couple of centuries...

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Briton

I'll write it out on clay tablets hahahaha!

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Guest Rachmyel

Dr.Owen Davies has recently observed the usefulness of fiction concealing elements of truth and how tales of witchcraft for example,may indicate actual occurrences during the period the writer lived in though not necessarily the period the story is set in.This is why,some stories hold value for the researcher and common sense helps to pinpoint those of merit.

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Briton

In hindsight, I have realised the white horse is only iron Age, so this has limited applicability due to the virtual non existence of hunter gatherer societies by that point (which is the sort of society I was angling for), not to mention my general lack of interest in the Iron Age, possibly due to the boggling amount of fanciful nonsense surrounding Iron Age Britons (such as being called Celts).

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