CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 17 . . . .April 13, 2007
Miskeen was trained to dance. In the late 1980's, at the age of three, Miskeen was bought at the Dimitrovden Festival in Bulgaria, and taken to a place where no horse could be happy. And it's not real dancing if you're not happy.
Based on actual events, Judy Andrekson recounts Miskeen's story as part of her "True Horse Stories" series. Miskeen had to learn to dance in an environment where he was subjected to intimidations, threats, and eventually, whips. He was expected to learn, and learn quickly, despite long confining trips, too-hot-to-work days, and distracting new sights and sounds. At first, his pent-up energy and emotions come out in the form of pawing and pacing. But with no where to go but a circus ring, where training was becoming increasingly traumatizing, Miskeen was suffering. He was slowly being damaged. What little trust he had in people and what little safety he felt around people were vanquished the day Miskeen was teased and whipped by a cruel young boy. After reacting violently to this torment, Miskeen is punished severely. All his teeth, but the back four, are inhumanely extracted from his mouth. Miskeen's physical and metal deterioration escalate, not coming to a stop until the day he meets 20-year-old Vicky Malia, the owner of Shaheen Stables. Even though he faced years of hardships in the traveling circus, Miskeen's personality always managed to find a way to shine through. This was a horse that gave "hugs!" But the day Vicky Malia saw Miskeen for the first time, she knew he needed immediate help. Vicky, with the help of her mom, Ann, rehabilitates Miskeen to the point where he's looking good, feeling good, and doing "good!" When it's time to say goodbye to Miskeen, they do so knowing good things are in store for Miskeen, and his new family.
Although this is a sad story, there are some comical moments, thanks to Miskeen's sense of humor. Fortunately, he senses whom he can play his trick on, and on whom he cannot! And good things finally come to this deserving horse in the form of a new name, a new playmate, and a new family.
Tanya Boudreau is a Youth Services Librarian and Resource Librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.