A young Mountain Herd mare looked at the sky, her ears pinned back in fear and terror. A bright star had appeared in the sky that night, blazing even more brightly than most of the other stars in the sky. The dark blue of her wings shimmered slightly in the light of the moon and stars. Most of the herd was asleep, but not her, she was watching the sky, her eyes bright with worry.
‘The Hundred Year Star…’ She thought in brief terror. What would this mean for her? Wrenroot the Mountain Herd Medicine Mare had told her earlier that day that she was with foal. She was terrified, she knew that the Black Foal wasn’t yet born this century. Looking at her hooves, she pawed at the ground nervously. ‘What am I going to tell him?’ She thought, ‘What am I going to tell my mate? That I think I’m pregnant with the black foal?’ She sighed, ‘How would that go over with him? On second thought…how would that go over with my HERD?!’ She huffed slightly, looking at the stars once more, ‘Maybe I’m not pregnant with the black foal of Anok…’ She thought, a small glimmer of hope alight within her, ‘Maybe I’m just worrying about nothing.’ She said, relaxing a bit. Folding her wings over her gray appaloosa back, she arched her neck, her black mane falling over her neck just so. Reaching behind her to her wings, she preened here dark blue wings to calm herself down. ‘Even so…how am I going to tell Eaglefeather about you, little one?’ She thought, her mind going straight to her foal within her. Her mate was sleeping not too far away, his golden colored coat shining slightly in the moonlight, his dark red wings ruffled slightly to keep out the chilly mountain breeze. Her mate was taken from Desert Herd as a weanling. She could still remember that day her father, Tatteredfire, and his team returned home with three weanlings, one of them a terrified young colt named Eaglefeather. He was a terrified young colt, and didn’t have any friends. She felt terrible for him, so she decided to spend some time with him. After a while, they grew to be close friends. Close enough friends that by the time the Desert Herd Over-Stallion, Redwing, had come to Mountain Herd to demand the weanlings back, that Eaglefeather refused to leave. And by the time they were five years old, no one was surprised that Eaglefeather had asked her to be his mate, and that she accepted. And now she was with foal, and she didn’t know how to tell her mate that she was pregnant. ‘How will he react?’ She thought to herself, ‘How am I going to…’
“Starshine?” Murmured a voice, breaking her out of her thoughts. Turning to face the voice, she saw her mate looking at her, his eyes bleary and unfocused with sleep.
“Yes, Eaglefeather?” She whispered, careful not to wake up any other herd members. Shaking out his mane, Eaglefeather trotted up to her.
“Are you ok?” He asked quietly, looking at her with a concerned gleam in his eyes.
“I’m fine, Eaglefeather.” She nickered, nuzzling him. Eaglefeather sighed, obviously not entirely believing she was alright, but he knew better than to press it further.
“Alright…” He murmured quietly, “But…if there IS anything you want to talk about…I’m here for you.” He said quietly. Starshine nodded, shaking out her feathers once before folding them neatly onto her back again. Eaglefeather looked at the sky, completely undisturbed by the new star in the sky. “It’s getting late.” He nickered slowly, arching his wing over her back, “Why don’t we get some rest?” He asked. With the comfort of her mate beside her, she suddenly grew tired and relaxed. Nodding, she allowed her mate to lead her a little ways away to a large oak tree that provided some shelter from the wind. Settling down in the shade of the oak, Starshine could feel herself drifting off. Just before she fell asleep, however, her eyes were once again drawn to the Hundred Year Star, her fears once again rising within her. ‘I promise…’ She thought to her foal, ‘If you ARE the Black Foal…and I survive the birth…I will protect you with my life.’ She thought as she fell asleep.