Disclaimer: I don't own the Thoroughbred Series. Im just a big fan. Without Wonder is one of my favorite books but I think it was written kinda cheesy. So I decided to do a rewrite. So here it goes:
Ashleigh Griffen walked down the path of Whitebrook farm, leading to the broodmare barn, to check on her favorite mare, Wonder. Ashleigh's Wonder as the mare was officially known, had been a champion when she was a filly. Wonder had gone on to have many foals, but after the last one, Wonder's Legacy, Ashleigh and Mike had decided to breed the mare to Jazzman, Mike's favorite stallion. The pregnancy had gone on without a hitch, but Ashleigh was still very nervous.
She headed down to the broodmare barn. Once inside, she proceeded to Wonder's stall. When she arrived, she got there just in time to see Wonder drop to the stall floor.
"Wonder?" Ashleigh gasped. She slipped quietly into the mare's stall. After thoroughly checking Wonder, Ashleigh's suspicions were right. Wonder was definitely in pre-term labor. Why didnt I see this before? Ashleigh thought as she rushed out to the office phone to call Christina.
When Christina picked up, Ashleigh immediately began talking.
"Mom? What's wrong?" Christina asked, getting the feeling that her mother was upset.
"Chris, I need you to come home right now."
"Why, what is it?" Christina asked confused.
"Wonder's in labor."
"But, shes not due for three more weeks."
I know, but...just come home" Ashleigh pleaded, sounding worried.
"I'm on my way!" Chris said and hung up.
When Christina arrived, she hurried right to Wonder's stall. "How is she?" she asked.
"Nothing's happening yet. "Ashleigh said looking at the mare. "Where's Dr. Lanum?"
"She and Dr. Seymour are out of town." Ashleigh replied, turning to the mare.
"Hey, Wonder, is that baby ready to come, girl?" Ashleigh crooned to the mare softly.
Wonder stood in the center of the stall, her head dropped low. She looked rather miserable. Wonder swished her bandaged tail, as though irritated by an invisible enemy.
She turned her head away from Ashleigh to bite her side.
"She isn't colicking is she?" Christina asked, concerned.
"No." Ashleigh answered. "You can see the labor contractions, so it's highly unlikely." She returned to comforting the distraught mare. Wonder blinked, her beautiful dark eyes crinkling in pain.
"It's all right, girl. You know how to do this. This isn't new to you. Its okay" Ashleigh murmured softly, rubbing Wonder's blaze. Wonder began slowly circling the stall.
"You'll be just fine. "Ashleigh said just as she noticed that the bedding was soaked beneath the mare. Christina rushed to fetch a pitchfork and went to the mare's head.
She began concentrating on Wonder and rubbing her behind her ears as Ashleigh proceeded to check the foal's position. Wonder barely flinched as Ashleigh's hand went in, but then her eyes rolled around, showing their whites and her head shot up.
"The foal's foot is back. I'm going to see if I can get it" Ashleigh said, reaching for the foreleg. Christina looked up from Wonder when she heard her mother cry out.
"What is it?" she asked, suddenly alarmed. "Wonder stepped on my foot!" Ashleigh said.
Christina continued to massage Wonder's ears as a contraction tore its way through the mare's body. "Good girl.' Christina crooned in Wonder's ear.
Wonder grunted softly, her breath coming in quick gasps. She looked into Christina's eyes. "You're doing great, girl." Christina said softly, scratching the mare behind her coppery ears. Wonders gorgeous coat had now darkened to a dull brown color with sweat. "It's okay, sweetie." Ashleigh said as she finally got a hold of the foal's foreleg.
"The foal should come out properly now." She said, standing back to let Wonder go to work. Christina and Ashleigh both held Wonder's halter as they led her around the stall.
Ashleigh looked at the mare she had raised from a sickly filly. "You're fine" she told Wonder, while looking at her lovingly. Wonder sighed softly but then she groaned as she descended slowly to the floor. "Thats good, Wonder" Ashleigh said as the mare lay down to deliver. In time the foal's nose emerged. "Is that its nose?" Christina gasped with anticipation. "Oh my gosh - you're doing it! Good girl, Wonder!" she cried, kissing the mare's velvet nose. Wonder grunted, pressing her head against Christina. The foal's elegant head was soon revealed. "Oh, girl, your baby's going to have your coloring!" Ashleigh exclaimed to the mare. "I knew it!"
Wonder pushed even further to deliver the foal. In time the foal came fully into the world.
Wonder grunted in distress when she noticed the still form.
"Chris, go get towels. We need to get this little guy going." Ashleigh said, clearing out the foal's nose and mouth. "It's all right, Wonder. You rest now. Well get him cleaned up for you." Ashleigh said while Christina rubbed the little colt all over. Ashleigh proceeded to perform mouth-to-nose with the colt, looking as if she was giving him a kiss.
Christina silently willed the little colt to breathe as she watched her mother perform mouth-to nose on him. Suddenly there was a slight jerk, and the little colt lifted his head up, pricking his oversized ears. Wonder tiredly nuzzled her baby as the cord broke causing the baby colt to scramble to his feet with surprise. Ashleigh caught the stump and dipped it in iodine. "Look at his star!" Christina exclaimed. "It looks just like a heart."
Indeed, there was a heart-shaped star on the foal's forehead. With a grunt, the small colt tottered over to Wonder and began attempting to suck on her tail. Wonder nudged him, and the foal scooted over to the proper place and began to suckle with vigor. Wonder nickered softly to her foal. Ashleigh took this as her cue. "I think it's time for us to leave Wonder alone with her baby. They need to bond." She said, ushering Christina out of the stall. "Let's go inside for some hot chocolate."