Nathanial Newberry is a former artist and massage therapist who suffered an accident blinding and paralyzing him. When a mysterious horse wanders into his small Oklahoma town, his contact with it facilitates a miraculous healing. He becomes the protector of the Horse as it continues to wander…
The horse was perfect.
The local news reports were filled with quotes like:
“Finest, I have ever seen.”
“A stallion, breathtaking.”
“Frankly I thought, after a minute, it was a some kind of joke.”
And all the Oklahoma-everyone in the state for sure had seen horses of all kinds.
All kinds all kinds of all kinds in every context of their society.
But this one was different.
“Well, I first seen ‘im just going down the road here, right outside. Couldn’t help but notice him. He was very big, real big. Just trottin’ down the road here. Black as night. Everyone stopped to see him here, right here in the restaurant–outside. He just strode by, and everybody stopped. It was like in the movies.”
–Harry Denant, owner of “Roadhouse” restaurant, just inside the Oklahoma boarder…
Three years earlier, before the arrival…
Nate was an artist. He didn’t really care about being a rancher. He respected the work the family business, admired his father, and never condescended to his younger brothers who were pretty ordinary guys. But he was a man’s man too, like all the men in his line. But Nate painted, wrote, and was a hopeful actor. Mostly though, a massage therapist.
Yes, that was the work he preferred to do to support himself after retiring the family-ranch. It was a great skill to have, and it helped people. But now, he was the someone, himself, who always needed help.
Since he lost his sight and was paralyzed in the accident, in which there was no one to blame, he didn’t even try to keep up his art. Painting and acting and such were basically impossible—from his point of view.
As he sat blindly on the hot but breezy porch of his home, he could still hear Mayor Sampling’s speech, given at the town center.
“Nathanial Newberry, we are honored to give you the award of “Artistic Merit” by the city of Sunder. For your service to the community and for the enjoyment and for the , well, hehe, good times, you gave us.” Applause.
Nate only wished now, that the award had been given posthumously.
Or, that he could have spent his whole life entertaining and being creative, or at least massaging people, just making everyone feel better.
Dusty wind, hedged in by the wild brush circling the house, still gave him the memory of riding the ranch, the grand expansive property for miles all around.
But the air was dry, in these parts.
He had received so many accolades before. But Nate never wanted the attention. It just came to him. Like the horse.