- Vol. 09
- Chapter 02
A piece of wood. That morphs into a horse in the hands of a carpenter.
When the skilled craftsman begins to lend his final touches to his tail, the horse bolts to escape the force of his fierce iron hammer, his head high, his half-tail bolt upright.
The horse hooves sound tabak, tabak as he enters the market, the carpenter on his trail.
To hide from his oppressor, the horse seats himself on a barber's chair at the marketplace and dons the robe given to him. Stealth and stratagem, he thinks to himself. But the minute the horse sees the barber unsheathe his knife to shave his beard, in the mirror before him, the horse bolts in fright again. His head high, his half-tail bolt upright.
The horse hooves sound tabak, tabak. This time the horse reaches the vegetable market where it begins to snow before the horse can devour a meal. The horse is cold but he keeps his head high and half-tail bolt upright. Catch me if you can, he seems to say to the carpenter still on his trail. And bolts yet again.
The horse finally reaches a farm. His horse hooves sound tabak tabak. A lone child is playing in the garden with his toys. He spots the runaway horse and opens his eyes and arms in delight. "My Neel, my horse, you are home!"
"I am, indeed," said the horse, finding his home on the farm among the other wooden toys. The wooden doll Roopa shakes her head, the soldier Maninder his arm, the snake charmer Ratan his wind instrument, the pungi. The horse neighs, nickers and hold his tail bolt-upright in happiness.
The carpenter is no longer to be seen.