In leau of last week's non-existant post, I have decided that I will double post this week. So be looking for another entry tomorrow! All I will say was that last Thursday-Sunday was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. My apologies! Thank you for baring with me. Now! On to more Baba Yaga!
The intense heat of summer had finally set in. It was no longer cool in the mornings and I found myself waking up drenched in sweat and falling halfway out of my bed. Trying to detach myself from the sticky heat while also trying to fall back asleep I imagined myself levitating somewhere between the bed and the ceiling.
In the end, no matter how much I imagined myself levitating, or floating, or flying I still had to get up and out of bed. If I didn't Yaga would be waiting at the bottom of the steps with her hands on her hips and a scowl on her face.
One morning I decided to wait and see how long it would take before Yaga came upstairs to get me. When she hadn't jerked me out from under the covers before noon, I bounded down the steps thinking I had won some sort of secret battle.
Instead, all that I got when I reached the bottom of the stairs was a scowling Yaga, as I should have anticipated. She latched onto my ear lobe and drug me into the kitchen, scolding and muttering all the way. Normally in the mornings I would come into the kitchen and be greeted by the smell of a large breakfast waiting at my place at the table. That day, however, Yaga threw a bucket at me, said there would be no food until dinner time, and that as punishment I had to clean out the horse stables.
Confused and hungry, I took the bucket out to where the horse barn was behind the house. I hadn't even been aware that there was ever a barn there before. As I made my way I kept wondering why, if Yaga wanted me up and ready, had she waited until I finally came down? Why didn't she just come and wake me up herself? Then I realized why: the stairs. The stairs up to my bedroom acted in cahoots with the cellar stairs. In looking out for Yaga and her bad bones, they wouldn't let her traverse neither up or down for fear that she would fall. I had found Yaga to be stubborn on the best of occasions, I could only imagine how the stairs must have felt after years of Yaga's thumping up and down them.
I shook my head- thinking that stairs had feelings? The fact that there were moving stairs at all should have been enough to surprise and scare me. Yet here I was- a place that seemed untouched by practicality.
I made it to the barn and both my bucket and my jaw dropped. I had grown up seeing barns and stables all of my life. This wasn't like any barn I had ever seen in my life. What Yaga referred to as a place to house horses and tack, looked more like a king's palace. The building was at least two stories tall, white wood with gold gilded trim work. The latches and hinges to the door were made of solid gold, right down to the door knockers. Barely noon, the entire place was glistening in the sunlight.
The inside was all the more palatial. Delicate detailing, painstakingly done by hand, was on each stable door. For being such a large building, it only housed three horses. I looked into each section, thinking that maybe the horses' names would be carved in gold detailing as well. But instead of a name, what I found etched into each horses' door, were images of the sun. One of the sun rising, one of mid day, and one of the sun setting.
Sun Rising, was a beautiful white mare. I introduced myself to her, and patting her nose, walked into her stall. Her hair was silky and soft. She had a gentle disposition and easiness about her that made cleaning up her area very easy and fast. By horse standards, she was very tidy. Hardly any of the hay on her dirt floor had been disturbed. A dainty amount of food had been eaten from her feed bucket, and the water in her trough was still cool and sparkling. I had been able to clean her and her stall in no time flat. And could move on to the next one.
Mid Day was not as gentle or as easy going. In fact, Mid Day was fiesty. A young, red, horse met me with fiery eyes and a snort of warm air. He was messy like a young boy would be. Hay had been kicked all over the place, his feed bucket emptied and turned over, and the water had long been drained. The wood in the trough looked as though it had been started to splinter.
Getting around Mid Day was tricky. He was clearly antsy when company was around and kept moving about the stall. Before I could lay down new hay after clearing out the old, he would nudge me hard with his nose until I was out of the way. Obviously, he liked his room messy.
What took me no time to do in Sun Rising's stall took me three times as long to do in Mid Day's. When he figured out that I was just as stubborn as he, I was allowed to finish my chores and move on to the next and final stall.
Sun Setting: A dark, tall, handsome thing. He took up most of the room in the tiny space, so between the two of us there wasn't much room to navigate. He was especially statuesque, and striking. Something about him frightened and intrigued me all at once. I decided it was best to get the work done as quickly as possible, so that should he actually move I would not be pinned in the corner with no way out. I rushed through cleaning his stall, so much that I almost forgot to refill his water. He snorted a reminder, his breath cold and damp on my neck. I nodded, as if we were speaking in a silent language. Refilled his water trough and ran out of the stall, shutting his door behind me.