"Yes, Esroh, I do believe you have said it all," Dan said. He admired the horse, a black mare with two white diamonds on her forehead like horns and two white socks, one front and left, one back and right. Her dread-locked mane had streaks of white running through the black resembling Frankenstein's Bride. Her demeanor was all the contrary from a black and white monster: sweet and gentle, great sense of humor, and a witty tongue that could humble an ostrich.
Esroh the Horse paced round and round, halting only to drink from the water bucket or chew on the oats in the feeding bin. The cat on Danny Mitt's lap was not as patient. Miles the Cat was a little handsy for Dan's taste, with a little too much claw and a little too little to say when it came to himself. Miles was a runaway, that was for sure, but had never divulged his past for Dan and the other animal's listening. Dan preferred openness in his relationships with others, especially emotionally. If two spirits couldn't transcend their fleshy vessels and share their inner-most thoughts, they couldn't be perfect companions. But Dan was patient, like the horse. Dan pet the cat and ignored its occasional clawing and its studious withdrawal from intimate conversation.
"Where do you expect they are, ol' Esroh?"
The black mare raised her head and brayed, stomped her foot, and shivered the way horses do when they are shaking off flies. Miles the Cat jumped from Dan's lap as he stood up. Dan pulled out a flute and held it to his lips.
"I trust your instinct, ol' Esroh. I'll play her favorite tune..." And he began to play.
The flute was a sharp noise in the stillness of the Summer night with the chirp and croak of the forest life in the air. The chorus of insect and other life was a constant rhythm which Dan played to. He used their metronomic consistency to measure the beats, painfully slow at first with much pause and suspense in the notes, but slowly building to bring life to the sorrowful song. As the song came to full swing he danced with the cat, who pranced around his feet as the petting and then the music had softened his hardened heart.
The horse picked up its pace to a light trot, trotting around and around on the roof of the house in the woods. The song became livelier and louder, shrill and climactic in the starlit night. As the song reached its crescendo Dan filled his lungs with air and let out the loudest note of all, filling the night with it so that it spilled over into the countryside. Miles the Cat jumped onto the ledge of the roof, glaring at Dan and his noisy spectacle. Esroh the Horse lifted herself onto her hind legs, kicking the air with the front pair and braying as long and loud as the flute's shrill note. When the echoes from the rooftop cacophony subsided there was a hush when even the forest life quit their droning chorus.
The forest was as silent as the moon in its orbit through the vacuum, seemingly just as eerily unpopulated. But Danny Mitt strained his ears, and it was apparent the horse was also listening intently. The cat gazed in suspense, wondering what ritual had just been completed and what spell had been cast. Danny the Man had his eyes closed, almost trance-like in his concentration. Then the cat heard the drums beating, rattling, booming, banging far off down the dirt road that led from the cabin into the forest.
A smile broke Danny Mitt's trance of concentration. His eyes flickered into open recognition and there was joy in them that far exceeded the gaiety of the song and dance. Esroh trotted up to Dan, nudging his shoulder until he stroked his knotted mane. The cat jumped onto Dan's shoulder, then onto the horse's back and sat down between her powerful shoulders.
"Hear those drums, Miles my cat friend? That is the sound of joyous reunion. You're in for a treat tonight! There will be a feast of the likes we cannot afford! Some events are worth the expense." Danny Mitt climbed over the side of the roof and down the ladder, the cat following behind.