Thank You

There are gruff noises coming from inside. The sound of my heart is loud. I don’t dare take a breath.
The beast bows his head and darts his eyes. He is waiting for me. He is anticipating my next move. He is watching me. His dark brown iris meets his pupil. They are seemingly one and the same.
His gentleness is gone. He stands tall. He is calm. Too much movement on my part and he shifts his weight. He is careful not to be overly friendly. This makes being inside with him somewhat uncomfortable.
The food he takes fine. No complaints there. The water too. The pain medication is a different story. There is a faint dust in the morning light. It is the swirling of the remnants of his antibiotic that I have mixed with his food that lingers on the air.
I talk to him with a soft but stern voice. He pays me no mind. He crunches on the food and acts as if I don’t exist.
He is hurt. His ego has been cut deeper than the sharp blade that preformed the surgery. He chews and then he waits. He waits for my next move. He quickly chews some more.
I know that deep in my heart he is the same. I know that loving soul is hidden behind his hurtful eyes. He is punishing me. He is going to make me earn his trust. A tight tear slips from my eye. I whisper into the morning quiet,
“I’m sorry.”
With no particular sign of acknowledgement, he swings his head in order to scatter the flies. I stand there longer than I should. What am I waiting for? Am I waiting for him to say he forgives me?
I put everything away and pat him on the neck. Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I will be here to feed him again. He will see.
As I walk away, he lifts his head and rests it on the stall door. He stops chewing long enough for me to hear him say, “thank you.”

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