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Napoleon’s Final Battle
 By Estella Noire   •   24th Nov 2011   •   3,660 views   •   14 comments
On the Scottish border, a rough dirt track broke up the rolling hills dotted with cows and sheep and horses. Rough farm houses and barns were scattered randomly, brown blotches in the green and yellow of the crops soon due to be harvested.

A shining red horse box was being slowly pulled up the rocky path by an old worn Land Rover. A woman named Ruth Stone covered her face with her hand. Her twelve year old daughter was shaking with excitement as they watched a stone outbuilding grow bigger and bigger and knew the wait was over.

Horse FictionBy that outbuilding was a young woman with long brown hair. She was leading a grey thoroughbred cross from the field as the Land Rover pulled up. Ruth and her daughter, Pippa Stone, climbed out of the car. “Polo!” Pippa squealed. Pippa may only be young, but she had already had several other loan ponies and her dream was to event. In front of her was the horse that would hopefully make that dream come true.

The girl holding the grey said, “You must be Ruth and Pippa. I’m Emily and yes, this is Polo. His show name is Napoleon II. Max let you have a ride on him last time you came up?” Pippa nodded eagerly. “Good. Well, you must take good care of him, because I’ve had him since I was sixteen, that’s almost for almost five years now!”

Emily didn’t want to loan out her beloved Polo, but she knew he could do nothing more for her now. He was really getting old and not as fit as he had been. Emily was a professional eventer and Polo and her other old horse, In Denial 23, had helped her get to where she was. It would be better for Polo to go on and help teach a young eventer.

Emily showed Pippa how to prepare a horse for the box and load him safely, but just before she let Pippa lead him into the trailer, she produced from her pocket a small silver star.

‘Napoleon II and Emily Walker’ was engraved across it.

Emily’s mum had given it to her when she won her first event on Polo. She held it up to the star and watched as it twinkled in the sunlight. She went up to Polo, and held the star before him. She laughed as he nudged it with his nose. He had always done that, but with the star and nothing else. “Load him,” Emily said to Pippa.

Meanwhile, her trainer Max had taken Ruth inside to agree on payment and sign the forms needed for the loan. Not long later, the red horse box pulled out of the drive and disappeared over the horizon.

Three days later Emily came back exhausted from an hour’s show jumping training with one of her horses, Barry Invincible. She flopped down in her computer chair and hit the power button. There was a soft whirr and the monitor flashed on. I wonder how Polo is doing, she though as Emily opened up her email. She had managed to get Ruth’s email address so she could send her pictures of Polo and tell her how he was getting on. She hit the ‘New Message’ button and typed in a quick message for Ruth to tell her this was Emily and ask about Polo.

After sending it she grabbed a drink of water and went out to groom the rest of the horses.
‘Please leave your message after the tone.’
There was a long beep.
“It’s been six months since you took Polo and if I don’t get a reply from you soon, I’m going to have to pay a little visit,” Max hissed down the phone. He was deadly serious. Emily sat behind him and groaned.
“Still no reply?” she asked. Ruth had been told she was meant to keep in touch and tell them how Polo doing.

Both Max and Emily knew something wasn’t right.

Had the Stone’s given them false details or something?
“Nope,” Max said. “I think you should driven down there.”
Emily shook her head. “No, Max, I don’t have time! I still need training for Blair Atholl!”
Max sighed. He knew Emily would be fine, but she had been expecting to ride Barry Invincible, and he went lame a couple of weeks ago she was left with her mare Granny Danger. Granny Danger was still young and not the best for the bigger competitions.

Frustrated, Emily went back to the computer to check her email. She had been checking every day for the last four months. Her heart hammered with excitement when she saw an email in her inbox from Ruth entitled ‘Re: Polo’. However, when she opened it, three words stared out at her. Written across the screen carelessly in a blank, clear Arial was...

napoleon is dead

---
Three horses, a bay with a blaze, a flea-bitten grey and a liver chestnut-stood huddled near the fence. The sky had opened and heavy raindrops began to bounce from their backs. The rain also bounced from the back of a shining black Jeep as it bumped down the uneven dirt track. In the driver’s seat sat Emily Walker. Emily was an eventer that, even though she was only 21, had already made a name for herself and had competed in big competitions.

The windscreen wipers screeched across the front window as she drove painfully slowly down the hill. Ever since she had received the email, she and her trainer Max who lived nearby had debated about what the email meant. It could have been a joke of Ruth’s, or Emily could have sent it to the wrong address and a very confused, smart someone had thought it would be funny to point out that Napoleon was dead. After all, Max had said as he tried to reason with a distraught Emily. “It said Napoleon not Napoleon II or Polo.”
But after that email, not even her important training could hold her back. She had prepared her things and leapt into her new Jeep.

It took her three hours to get to the Stones’ field. During that time, she continued to think about the email. Polo was old, and if he had unfortunately passed away, it would be no fault of either Ruth or Pippa. But the bluntness of the email was... shocking. No explanation had been given as to how or when Polo had died.

The windscreen wipers screeched across the window as Emily pulled into the drive. She peered out of the window into the rain as she parked. It was even heavier here, and dark clouds blocked out most of the suns light which made it very hard to see. As Emily climbed out the car, she tried to get a closer look at the field hoping, just longing to see her Polo standing there looking glum in the bleak weather. But as far as she could see through gloomy light, her beloved grey Thoroughbred was not there. Maybe he’s in the barn, Emily thought, eyeing a large open wooden building near the cottage which she assumed must be the home of the Stones. With a sigh, Emily headed towards the cottage. She knocked on the old wooden door. No answer. She knocked once more. Again no answer.

Emily glanced behind her. There was no car... maybe they were out? Emily was numb inside. She turned slowly, and a flash of white caught her eye. She gasped, but it turned out just be a sign. A... for sale sign? Her jaw dropped. If Ruth had moved, maybe she had taken Polo with her? Why hadn’t she told her? Where had she moved to? How long ago had she moved? All these questions ran threw Emily’s head.

For a moment, Emily was glued to the spot. She slowly began to walk towards the barn to get out of the rain. Her head was spinning. How would she find Ruth and Pippa now? They wouldn’t respond to any of the contacts numbers or emails... And now they had moved?

Emily wandered into the barn, only to find that empty too.

---
Almost another two months later, a high pitched ring broke through the silence. Upstairs, Emily pulled herself out of bed. It was Max‘s day off, and she was glad that she could just relax today after she had done the chores. Emily had been at Blair Atholl for the last few days and it had totally drained her, though she had been very pleased with the result. Emily headed to the phone and answered it.
“Hello?” she asked, stifling a yawn.
“Emily Walker? Owner of Polo?”
“Yeah?” Her body tingled.
“We believe we have found your horse.”

---
A black Jeep pulling a white horse box was driving down a rough road that led up to Fair Mount Horse and Donkey Sanctuary. In the drivers seat was a smiling Emily Walker, who was making her way to the Sanctuary to pick up her horse. But although she was smiling, Emily was both distraught as well as delighted. It was relieving to know that Polo was safe, but she was so disappointed with how he had been treated. The Stone family who had loaned him from her had just abandoned him! They had gone bankrupt when Ruth’s husband Jerry had lost his job and been thrown in jail for theft. But it was no reason for treating Polo so badly, when they could have returned him to Emily so easily.

When Emily reached the reception, a young woman took her to Napoleon. The grey was skinny, and frail looking but still managed to nicker at the sight of his old owner. Joy and rage fought against each other in Emily’s heart. Who could treat an innocent horse like this? Well, at least he was still OK!

She produced from her pocket a small star with both her and the horses name on it. She held it in front of him, and he nudged it happily with his nose. There was no doubt that this was Polo. The woman gave her a list of things she would have to feed him to keep his health up and things she would have to watch out for, then they loaded him together.

Three hours of driving later, Polo was back at his old home. Max had arrived and finished off grooming his own horse he boarded and came to collect Polo. As Emily went to exercise Granny Danger, Max turned Polo out into the field. The grey seemed happy to be home and went to graze next to In Denial 23 almost immediately, but at the same time something was wrong.

Something...

The next day, Emily headed out into the crisp morning air. She smiled. She might go out on a hack on Polo today. She headed to the stables because Max had brought Polo back in last night. But as Emily approached the stable door, she knew something was wrong. Max came up behind her, and they both entered the stable together.

Polo was lying on the ground, eyes closed looking peaceful, looking happy... But... “He’s gone.” Max said quietly with a sigh. Tears sprang to Emily’s eyes. “He never looked right, ever since yesterday. We don’t know what he’s been through, but he hung on. He didn’t give in until he found you again. He kept on fighting. And although it looks as if he’s lost, he has in fact won... He died happy.”

Emily dug deep in her pocket and lifted out a small silver star. “At least you will have that to remember him by,” Max said, but Emily shook her head.
“I will never forget him. He has gotten me to where I am. He was a great horse.”

She lay the star beside him. “Instead it is him who should have it. He has triumphed and he deserves a medal for it, like a real solider would get one. Napoleon has won his final battle…”
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Fiction      Horse News More From This Author:  Estella Noire
Simplicity  
Awww :'(
  11 days ago  •  2,757 views
 
Stay Untamed  
Aww! Sweet story :)
  11 days ago  •  2,997 views
 
RoyalCrownEstates  MOD 
cute little story :)
  11 days ago  •  2,789 views
 
Briseno TBs   
Such a nice story! I loved it
  11 days ago  •  3,006 views
 
All That Jazz  
Aww, sad story.
  11 days ago  •  2,794 views
 
Emmurr  
That was a brilliant story, so gripping. Very well written, I look forward to reading a few more stories from you in the future if you carry one writing :)
  10 days ago  •  2,770 views
 
FreeRein  
great story! I luffles it!
  10 days ago  •  2,923 views
 
Spaztastic  
Such a sad story :(
  10 days ago  •  2,804 views
 
Double Spur Ranch  
Awesome Story :)
  10 days ago  •  2,761 views
 
Cruisin Past Curfew  
Great story! It was so sad too :( I would love to see more from you :D
  10 days ago  •  2,759 views
 
SunlightRider  
Really nice, congratulations!
  8 days ago  •  2,893 views
 
NorthernNinja  
awww....*cries*
  1 days ago  •  2,787 views
 
Carpe Diem  
Cute story. :) Sad though. :(
  Dec 12, 2011  •  2,762 views
 
Just A Rainbow Seaweed  
Aaaawwwwww so cute! Neat story! Have you done any more?
  Dec 22, 2012  •  2,784 views
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