Trojan was the hero of the park. The children who visited loved her very much. Then one day, they found her missing.
Whitefield Park was popular not for its exotic trees or its pristine blue lake, but for Trojan, the horse. The children adored this white beast with soft brown eyes and sturdy hooves. Every evening, the horse would take the kids around the park, two or three at a time, expecting an apple or two in return.
Then one day, before sunrise, the unthinkable happened. Three large rats entered the shed where Trojan slept. They bit her legs and rump. Trojan neighed in pain. She shook them off almost immediately but the harm had been done.
In the morning, Trojan’s keeper Satish found her with gaping wounds. He sent for the veterinarian who arrived just as the park opened up for the public.
“Don’t worry, Trojan,” he spoke into her ear with a comforting voice. “The worst is over; we will heal you in no time at all.”
The vet checked her wounds. They glowed an angry red on her spotless white skin. He gave her an injection and applied a dull-green paste made from vegetable leaves on the wounds. Turning to Satish he said, “Don’t take her out into the park. Let her rest. She must not run until she regains her health. I will visit her everyday till her wounds heal.”
Grownups and children who came to the park were visibly disappointed. Without Trojan, Whitefield Park meant nothing to them. The Park Supervisor introduced boating in the lake, but that too failed to hold people’s interest.
Meanwhile, Trojan too missed the children. Loneliness filled her heart. The wounds did not hurt anymore, but the fact that no child came to visit her made her sad. “Do they love only my rides and not me?” she thought to herself after the vet visited her for the fifth time.
The vet was puzzled too. Outside the shed, he spoke to Satish in a low voice. “The wounds are not healing. Today I have applied a stronger paste on them, but she should have improved somewhat by now.”
Satish replied, “She misses the long rides and the children. Her constant sadness is perhaps delaying the healing process.”
“You may be right,” said the vet. “Then, tomorrow, do this for me.”
The next day, being a Sunday, many families came to the park. Satish spoke to them, especially the children. “Trojan has always brought you joy through her rides; today she wants to know you love her just as much as she loves you. Only you can help her recover faster.”
Without question, the children followed Satish to Trojan’s shed. The horse looked up from her meal of oats to see children queuing up outside. One by one they stepped inside, talked to her, patted her mane, and left. Trojan’s joy was boundless. Her heart leaped. The children loved her after all; how silly she had been to think otherwise. The children continued to visit her every evening. By the time the vet returned for his eighth visit, the wounds had healed!
“The children succeeded in doing what my medicinal cure could not!” he exclaimed. “Their pure loving hearts have cured dear old Trojan finally!”