HERO OF THE WEEK

HERO OF THE WEEK

From Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul II

Hero of the Week

Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.

Sally Koch

The telephone rang just as I was settling the kids down for the evening. When I heard the voice of Sgt. Scott Cataldi, a boarder in our barn and a local police officer, on the other end of the line I listened with concern. In one quick breath, he said, “There’s a horse in tough shape and we need your help. It’s bad.” I took the directions, dropped everything, left the kids with my husband and flew out the door.

I had never seen any sign of life, let alone a horse, at the small, nondescript tract house I had passed many times. My stomach churned as I got out of the car to meet Scott. He introduced me to his fellow officer, GayWeyland, and Peggy Drummey, a local horse owner who had also volunteered to help. As we walked past the “For Sale” sign in the front yard, the officers explained that a house painter had called the station after he heard noises in a shed while preparing an estimate for a job. So upset by what he found, he begged the officers to investigate immediately.

Dodging overgrown thistles and brambles, we gingerly made our way through the weeds and trash to the small, dilapidated shack in the back yard. It was inconceivable that an animal could possibly be alive in that cramped, foul smelling shed. The stench of manure and ammonia hit us long before we reached the door. Pushing it open we could see only a dark, dingy area with a yellow slash of early evening light coming through a small window the color of old wax paper. Dirty metal trash cans sat empty in the corner except for a dusty collection of spiders and dead mice. The floor was littered with crumpled plastic bread bags and there was no grain, no hay, no sign of life.

Susan Winslow

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