Story and pictures by Jackie Mondalimare
Life can be lonely when you’re one of a kind. Who can you share your secrets with, your joys and sorrow, when there is nobody who feels the same? Who can tell you what to do when you feel pain, when there’s nobody around that hurts the same?
The poor little Equylon faced just this destiny, forever wandering the trails of Meandervale on its own. It did, of course, try to find friends in other places, but nobody was right, nobody was like it. When it first came to Jungle Bungle, the Shlabberwonks nearly drowned it in the chocolate lake and it had a hard time finding its way out of the sweet madness that’s Jungle Bungle’s meadows. It did have fun with the tiny people in Nu Orne for quite a while, they could ride on its back and groom its fur, but soon after it found them, they had to depart.
After weeks of searching every realm she could find, Lonnie the Eqylon returned to her home, Meandervale, cold, hopeless and as lonely as could be. She spent her days eating the grass near the shore, looking at her own reflection in the deep waters that she had grown to hate so much – why couldn’t she be like everyone else? It was one of these days that all of a sudden, she saw something else in the waters, breaking through her own reflection.
At first she didn’t even notice it, it was nothing more than a shadow that even resembled some of her features – torn by the small waves of the ocean. But it slowly came closer until it broke the surface – and poor Lonnie jumped back in shock! For a second, it seemed to her as if her own reflection came to life. But after she had blinked a while, she noticed the many differences and stared at the foreign creature in awe.
As the two looked each other up and down, completely astonished, little Lonnie took a small step towards the edge of the water – afraid the finned horse might pull her into it, but too curious, too happy to see someone looking like her, to stay in the back. She neighed lowly in greeting, waiting for the sea horse’s response – and her heart nearly overflowed with joy as the stranger returned the greeting.
Day after day the two met by the small island, looked out into the ocean and shared stories. Stories of the Equylon’s journey through the realms, story of the great creatures living under the surface, in the dark depths of the sea. But every night, the Hippocampus had to depart to be with its family, in their safe home.
And every night, Lonnie was left to search for her own home. She could only share her stories with the Hippocampus, but not her life. Neither of them could live where the other can survive and so, the Equylon trotted back to the meadows of Meandervale to find a safe spot for the night.
It was one warm and bright morning, when Lonnie awoke to something new. She had seen the farmers put scarecrows on the fields to get rid of the many crows trying to steal their crops. But this was different, it didn’t make the same sounds! She carefully sneaked out of her hiding place and there it was. What exactly it really was, she couldn’t say, but she instantly knew that she just found her home.
On a meadow not far from her, bordered by hay bales and a fence, there stood a dozen wooden horses. They didn’t speak nor did they make any sound, but they would never stop listening to Lonnie’s story – she could tell that by the fact that they were constantly nodding, as if agreeing to her, as if understanding.
After searching and searching, she had finally found what she always wanted – a friend to share stories with and a place to call home, secure and in good company. Lonnie never went to other realms again, she never felt the need to find anyone or anything else. She had finally found the place she belonged to.