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Full Name: Rodeo
Nicknames: None
Breed: Quarter Horse
Gender: Female
Color: Bay and White Pinto
Titles: Alpha Mare of Prairie of Lights for Roco
Birth Date: March 2, 2003, mid-day in Tulsa Oklahoma (23 BQ)
Sire: Unknown
Dam: Unknown
Full Siblings: None
Alliance: Lights
Age at Death: Six
Date of Death: September 25, 2003, 8:52:06 pm in the Beach (29 BQ)
Cause of Death: Drowning
Foals: Unleashed, a colt by Roco; Niosa, a filly by Roco
Last Home: Prairie of Lights
Loved: Roco
Best Friends: None

As the north wind blew that cool, winter evening, little particles of twigs and whatnot riding the current, a new individual was making her final breathing appearance in the famed land of Beqanna. Clop. Clop. Clop. Hoof beats began in the distance, amongst the mass of oaks and elms. Clop. Clop. Clop. Slowly they crescendo until a steady beat could be detected, originating from a shadow. Clop. Clop. Clop. Louder they came as the shadow trod forward.

And then, finally, a pied mare emerged, one pallid leg and one piebald leg followed by a multicolored body. Her eyes are cold and restless, with a deep cut just above the right. Yet, somehow, she wasn’t high-strung. Most would expect her to be, especially if they knew her past.

His eyes are cold and restless
His wounds have almost healed
And she'd give half of Texas
Just to change the way he feels

It was one hot day that June, with the temperature well above ninety. The sky was clear – no sign of rain or even a cloud in sight. The land was yellow, dried and dusty. And in one small corral was a middle-aged mare.

That mare wasn’t too special in appearances, for she was just an ordinary brown. She lay on the dirt, her barrel large and round. The men gathered around the corral, filled with excitement. You see, the plain mare was their pride and joy – the secret of their rodeo career. And who better to continue on her career when she gets old than her own foal?

She knows his love's in Tulsa
And she knows he's gonna go
Well, it ain't no woman, flesh and blood
It's that damned old rodeo

And it was on that hot day in Tulsa that a little pied filly struggled into the world. Colored like the cattle and with the spirit of a cowboy, the men called the little one Rodeo and it stuck.

As she grew, her knowledge of the rodeo grew alongside. She loved the action, the adrenaline, the spotlight, and everything else there. In turn, the men loved her and after her mother died in a bull accident, they laid all their hopes upon her.

There was not a cowboy that loved Rodeo more than a twenty-four year old from Texas. He was a tough boy with a soft heart – one that adored Rodeo with all his heart. Always he would brag about Rodeo to his wife back in Fort Worth and always she would respond with a worried note and a plea for him to quit the dangerous rodeo life.

Well, it's bulls and blood
It's dust and mud
It's the roar of a Sunday crowd
It's the white in his knuckles
The gold in the buckle
He'll win the next go 'round

The young filly soon became the rodeo’s best attraction. People miles around came to see her, wherever the rodeo might be heading. From Tulsa to Dallas to Lexington and back she traveled, shining like a star in each city. And the Texan that loved her shone along with her until they became famous all over the nation.

Still, they did not let the attention go to their heads. She was a normal filly that loved to play and have fun. He was just a cowboy that loved his horse and the rodeo. And that was what the rodeo was to them – pure fun.

It's boots and chaps
It's cowboy hats
It's spurs and latigo
It's the ropes and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing rodeo

Until one day when the inevitable occurred. A new manager had taken over – one with no knowledge of business or rodeos. Soon the nation-famous rodeo filed for bankruptcy, and all their animals were forced to auction.

The men hated for Rodeo to leave. Rough, strong cowboys, with tears in their eyes, lined up for one last ride on princess Rodeo in their last performance. The Texan, with his wife standing at the gate, worried as much as she could possibly be, got ready to ride once more.

She had a horrible feeling about the day, and she did as much as she possibly could to stop her husband. Still, he was persistent. Mounted on Rodeo, they rode in to the ring.

She does her best to hold him
When his love comes to call
But his need for it controls him
And her back's against the wall
And it's "So long girl, I'll see you"
When it's time for him to go
You know the woman wants her cowboy
Like he wants his rodeo

It was their last ride together and they both felt it. Something was different, and they assumed it was the goodbye blues. Little did they know that instead of the herd of cattle that were supposed to be released, an angry bull was instead.

It was over before they knew it began. The cowboy was in the hospital, the mare in the corral with a horrible cut above her right eye and a limp in her hind leg, and the wife crying and praying while standing next to the corral gate.

It'll drive a cowboy crazy
It'll drive the man insane
And he'll sell off everything he owns
Just to pay to play her game
And a broken home and some broken bones
Is all he'll have to show
For all the years that he spent chasin'
This dream they call rodeo

The wife knew that nothing good would befall the hurt rodeo horse and so silently, she unlatched the gate and shooed the mare into freedom with a slap on the rump… and the horse, frightened and confused ran and ran and ran… until she came to a land, a land called Beqanna.

And it was that same pied mare that stood in herdless, silent, confused, and somehow, calm. Around she glanced at the multitude of horses, and the lack of humans and cattle, and somehow discovered a stallion named Roco, whom she grew to adore.

She began alpha in his little herd, becoming herd mates with Artemia, Opinionated, Mignon, and Descriptless, along with their five foals. Two of them, a colt and Roco’s only daughter, were borne by the naïve rodeo queen – Quarter Arab twins. The son she named Unleashed, and the daughter Niosa.

Well, it's bulls and blood
It's dust and mud
It's the roar of a Sunday crowd
It's the white in his knuckles
The gold in the buckle
He'll win the next go 'round

But as worse came to call, Roco disappeared, leaving behind his yearning wife and worried mistresses. The pied mare waited and aged, never leaving the spot where she had stood last speaking with him. The land was barren now of life; the beauty that had once enveloped the land vanished with the wind. The others, both mares and foals, had disappeared as well, and had left her alone with her twin children.

Finally, one vital day, she chased out her son; tossing him out into the real world. It was the last she ever saw of him. She loved him, and she knew he was a growing colt – a young stallion that needed his own family. He could not stay around his mother forever, and his father wasn’t there to hunt him away. With tears in her eyes, she did it, and her daughter as well. She was truly alone then.

She waited, one final season, before she left as well. She did not return to herdless, nor did she seek out a new life. She had lived her life well, and she was happy with her experiences – though she did not understand some of it. She had lived the human life, the glamour life, and the wild life. It was enough.

So she walked into the land of bereavement, knowing what was to come. Picking her way through the tangled carcasses of so many before her, she sought out a barren plot of land near the water. She trod over, and stood in the chilly, tranquil water; allowing the waves to rush at her one last time. Then she discreetly lowered herself to the sand and lowered her head beneath the rushing waters, inhaling the liquid. At the tender age of six, she drowned herself to death, with no regrets or qualms. She had lived a happy life, and died a serene death. She was at peace with herself.

It's boots and chaps
It's cowboy hats
It's spurs and latigo
It's the ropes and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing rodeo

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