For Bint Shahwan, the Substantial Change!
Rashad joined me to ride along inside the trailer. The long and stressful trip was nearing an end. For Bint Shahwan, as laid back as she always is, took the ride from the airport as an adventure, compared to the low whooshing of the jet transport. She was now looking around at all the new sites, the loud traffic noises, the ever-present horse, and donkey drawn carts. Her ears were switching her attention from her surroundings and back to me as if to capture my attention. I have always been her safe haven. Dazshtan seemed to be drawn to all the commotion. I thought to myself, “is it true that maybe his heritage is showing? Was I imagining that?” It almost seemed familiar to him as he was drawing in with his large nostrils, the air filled with the aroma of all the ambiance of the desert that was always present in Cairo. He would snort and blow as whiffs of desert palms that lined the boulevards added a little life to our travels to Al Ahmann. Dazshtan was an extremely sensitive stallion. He was very observant of all the surroundings.
As we passed the Giza plateau, the scents, and fragrances of the greenery of the Nile Delta was fast approaching. He blurted out a loud whinny as we drove down the tree lined drive on approach to Al Ahmann. The green pastures that lined the driveway were filled with mares and foals that caught his attention. They looked up attentively with their ears peaked at the sound of the new arrivals. As usual Doctor Marsufi was there to greet us at the stable. Amir, Rashad, and I unloaded our weary steeds into the quarantine portion of the stable. They were to be housed there for two weeks before they would join the regular population.
Dazshtan, even though he had been traveling many hours, was excited and exuberant as he was unloaded from the transport. But all I had to do was look at him and he would calm right down and stay beside me, proud, but showing his gentle nature. I thought it was appropriate that Rashad would unload Bint since he would be handling her at the tents of the Ruala tribe. Our horses were soon settled into the strange but comfortable surroundings.
Walter had accompanied us on the trip to the Stud. We were all invited by Dr. Marsufi after we were settled to a feast to celebrate the arrival of our precious Arabian horse cargo. After our celebration, we said goodbye to Walter who headed back to the hotel close to the airport. It was morning back in Tumalo at the clinic when I called mom and dad to announce our safe arrival. Mike had been wondering also how the trip went. I asked dad to tell and assure him that our crew was settling in rather well. That night when we were both in our rooms. I couldn’t sleep so I headed down to the barn to check on the horses. to my surprise I heard footsteps behind me. Rashad had the same idea and joined me. Our presence with the horses helped them settle. As we watched the horses bedded down for the night, quietly sleeping, we knew how important it was to preserve the bloodlines of decades of dedicated breeding that Ashreen Arnaza, the granddam of both our charges represented.
We wanted to surprise the Sheykh by presenting him with Bint Shahwan so we were careful to not let out the details of what our plans were.
Amir was very connected to the Bedu horse breeding tribes and has been privy to know that the news of Bint’s imminent arrival had been making its way through the Wadis. But because news travels quickly in the desert, that information got out to prying eyes much to our dismay.
Rashad said goodbye and headed back to the tents of the Ruala tribe. Daily, with my routines at Al Ahmann, I learned what my responsibilities would be when the entourage would travel to the desert with our precious gift to the Sheykh. My days were filled with learning and of course I would continue with the education of my charges. Dazshtan was strong and fit. He and his sister were growing accustomed to the climate. I wanted to make sure that Bint was fit to travel the distance. The feed was different in the desert. fortunately, she will be arriving at the time of year that feed was plentiful in the Wadis. The Sheykh was growing old. My father’s comment about whether he would be able to see this gift fulfilled was drawing near. I wanted him to know that the future of that bloodline would be preserved. His generosity to Mike, of Inny, would be reciprocated. Our family had been blessed. Now to return that blessing.
As the months progressed towards the time of the travel to the desert drew near, I continued to be in awe of the blessings that my family had gained because of that fateful meeting with Mike Chapman, that truck driver across the street that had changed the destiny of our whole family 26 years before. My grandpa Mike Chapman was getting old also. We were always concerned about his health working so hard to build his herd of Arabian horses and losing them to fate. He seemed to be resurrected when he met my father at the age of sixteen years. A man who thought he would never be with a horse again helped my father achieve the things that Mike always wanted for himself. Jim Reynolds, the winery owner who collected many of Mike’s lost herd, helped my grandpa find joy again with his horses. My dad, with Jim, helped to restore the blessings and joy he had of partnering with the horse, especially the Arabian horse.