Blind Stallion

Text: So basically there was this cowboy, and when he was a little kid, he would go out onto the range with his father. And there was this wild herd of mustangs that was roaming at the time, and there was this one little foal. It was a black stallion foal, and he was like, “One day I’m going to get that horse, and I’m gonna ride that horse.” So he grows up and spends his adult life wandering the hills trying to find the same horse that he saw as child. He wants to capture it. So he finally finds the herd after like a year of wandering, and he starts following it around because he wants to figure out how to catch the stallion. He spent three days following the horse, and with each day, he figured out that the stallion what is the strongest horse, but it always stayed next to its mother. It stayed with the mother horse that the cowboy saw it with when he was little. So he’s like. “Okay, whatever, kind of weird.” But it keeps going. After the three days, he decides that the only way he’s going to catch this horse is if he shoots the mother horse. So that the stallion won’t follow her anymore. So he shoots the mother, which is obviously sad and awful, and horses start running away. But the black horse starts running in the opposite direction and acting wild and crazy and falls off of the edge of a cliff. And then that was when the cowboy realized that the horse was always blind, and that the only reason he was following the mother around is so he could get around. And when the cowboy shot the mother, the stallion couldn’t get around anymore, so he fell off a cliff.

Context: SH is a born and raised Texan studying psychology at USC. Her time in the south led her to be exposed to many different stories with western flairs while she was growing up. In regards to the tale above, she doesn’t remember who told her the story, but it has never left her mind due to the fact that, “It’s so fucking awful.” SH thinks its significance means, “To leave nature be because you don’t always know what is going on behind the scenes, and if you insert yourself into nature it might not go the way you wanted to because you just don’t know.” I was told this piece of folklore over lunch one afternoon.

Interpretation: Tales are recognized as fictional stories that are used as fun ways to entertain and teach lessons to one another. They can sometimes reflect values and teach important lessons on behavior and ethics, or they can simply be stories for stories sake. They are not supposed to be viewed as true and exist outside of the real world. They also like to use groups of threes in their plot structure, a definite tactic employed in the blind stallion. This tale seems to function completely as a way to teach lessons, for there is a lot to be learned from the horrible acts committed in the above story. I will note that the tale does remain entertaining despite the horrible ending, due solely to its shock value and ridiculous logic in how the main character goes about getting what it wants.

I think that SH was correct in that the blind stallion contains some commentary about nature and how people should leave it alone. I also think it has possible lessons rooted in the shying away from greed, impulsive action, and murder. This tale also contains the idea that SH brought up about things not always operating as they appear, and the ghastly consequences that can unfold when people convince themselves that they understand something that they really don’t.