Babakar stood in front of Amadou and patted the horse on its nose. They were good friends. He had just returned from a trip to Timbuktu and he had left Amadou with his friends Penda and Mariam. Amadou was glad to see his friend Babakar. He stood quietly nudging him with his nose. Babakar pulled from his bag an apple and held it for the horse to eat. It sniffed it and then gingerly took the fruit out of Babakar’s hand and ate it. It was an hour after sundown and Babakar had excused himself from the 2 women’s company and walked out in the back of their place where Amadou was. He loved his horse and they did many things together. Amadou had liked Babakar immediately and gave him no trouble when Babakar mounted him the for their first ride. It had filled Babakar heart with joy that there had been no resistance. If he could he would gladly carry his friend on his back. Babakar had been lonely for a long time at that point because his previous horse Lester, who was also his first horse, had died suddenly. Babakar had not thought about purchasing another because he felt it was not necessary. He could always rent the 7 seater's to travel city to city and in the cities there were usually taxi’s or charettes. But then Penda and Mariam had been given Amadou and they really weren’t set up to tend to a horse. For a short period they could, as they had just done while Babakar was away, but financially and the layout of their property was not conducive to tending to a horse, although they really loved Amadou, he was just a very personable animal. When they offered him to Babakar it all seemed right so he took Amadou and rode him back to his village. That seemed a rare thing for a horse to so readily accept a rider. The 2 women told Babakar that they had talked to him about it and told Amadou of him and that they knew he would be ok with him. When Babakar asked how they knew they just smiled and said that they ‘just did!”.

So now the two were reunited. The moon was full and the night was well lit. There were a few clouds but the majority of the stars were visible. Amadou was just in the back of Penda and Mariams place. Inside a fenced area. The 2 animals stood facing one another in the moonlight. Penda went to ask Babakar if he wanted another glass of wine, for they had opened a bottle to celebrate Babakar’s safe return but when she looked out she could hear Babakar talking to Amadou although she could not make out what he was saying but she thought better than to bother these 2 good friends during this part of their reunion. She watched them for a few moments and Babakar was talking and Amadou would every now and then make a low sound and nudge Babakar with his nose.

“Amadou I know it seems odd to be friends with a horse, really it seems odd to many to be friends with any type of animal. So many look at animals as things or something to accomplish work with, like a tool, I cannot understand this. I do not consider you anything other than an equal. You are, if you really want, free to go. I am pretty sure you do not want that. As long as you wish to be with me I will take care of you. You give me great companionship my friend. Friendship, of any type, is so often over looked or disregarded. Too often I see people abuse their friends thinking that they can get away with things just because they are friends. You and I though we will be together for many years, God willing. You a horse and me a human. We do OK my friend we do OK. “

And Amadou once again made a low noise and nudged Babakar with his nose.


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