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Many years ago, the horses of Elemante lived peacefully on their planet. The horses were different from the horses on Earth. They had power over fire, water, earth, or air. One day, five winged air horses, two fire horses, one earth horse, and three water horses set off to discover new planets. The spaceship’s engine broke and the horses crash landed on Earth. Try as they might, the horses were never able to return to Elemante.
Aditya Meets the Elemane
The little chestnut colt streaked across the plains of early America. He was easily outrunning the Indian children and their ponies. The colt, known as Aditya, meaning “sun” was a descendant of a fire horse that crash landed from Elemante. In fact, his whole herd was from Elemante, except Kaumudi. The children had been chasing Aditya since they could barely walk. All the children chased him for the same reason, they wanted to catch him and one day ride him across the plains as their own horse. Sometimes, Aditya would let the children catch him, for he enjoyed their games. His mother, Rashmi, worried that Aditya would get too attached to the children and want to live with them. Sometimes, Aditya’s friend, Sagar, a water horse, and Aditya’s father, Sheregas, would join the chase. After the sun dipped below the horizon, the horses of Elemante would hide away in their secret valley and take their natural forms. The fire horses had flaming manes and tails and could run faster than Aditya did when being chased by children. The water horses were made entirely out of water, and air horses had wings. The earth horses had long manes of grass and were covered in soft brown dirt. All of the horses had power over their elements. Everyone, except for Shivani’s orphaned cousin Kanchana, dreamed of returning to Elemante some day. Kanchana’s parents were killed by a group of people and animals that disliked the horses of Elemante. That’s why the horses hid in the secret valley.
One day, Aditya was waiting for the children, when three tough looking warriors rounded the bend on three war ponies. The leader shouted to his men, and the chase began. After they crossed the creek, two more fresh warriors leapt from the bushes. Aditya was forced to speed up. Riders kept jumping out of reeds and bushes, forcing Aditya to move faster and faster. Aditya could not go any faster without revealing the fire horse he really was. If anymore riders jumped out, it was either the rawhide ropes, or risk revealing his family’s secret. Thankfully, no more riders appeared. Aditya jumped into the reeds, leaving the Indians far behind.
Aditya went straight home. His mother and father were very worried when they saw Aditya, gasping for breath and dripping with sweat. Rashmi ran to him, frantically asking questions. All of the commotion caused the other horses to gather around Aditya. Megha, the wisest, told Aditya that it was the Eleman’e that had chased him. “You were very lucky. Most horses wouldn’t be able to escape without revealing their true identity,” Megha said. “Now, more than ever we need to get back to Elemante.”
“Dude, that was totally awesome!” Sagar exclaimed.
“I can’t believe you escaped those Elemane!” Shardul, a water horse and Sagar’s brother chimed in.
“It does seem pretty amazing,” Darhini admitted.
“Can you teach me?” Agni (Aditya’s little brother) asked.
“It was a one time thing, no big deal,” Aditya insisted, but inside, he couldn’t help but wonder if he would have to do it again in the near future.
The New Plan
Aditya and the other foals were bored. They were forbidden to leave the valley. Sheregas, Anil, (Shardul and Sagar’s father) and Avanindra (Darhini’s father) had meetings every night on how to get to Elemante. Megha did her best to entertain her children Shardul and Sagar, but nothing caught their fancy. Damini did her best to give Darhini an education, but Darhini would not sit still. Only Shivani was able to work with her cousin Kanchana on controlling water. One night, the horses became the horses of Elemante. An Indian boy from the village had snuck into the secret valley. His presence was unknown until the boy let out a wild whoop and ran away. Sheregas, Anil, and Avanindra dashed after the boy before the eager colts could follow. The colts had barely started to complain when the stallions returned with the boy walking in between them. Aditya recognized the petrified boy as one of the children who chased him. Aditya learned from a run- away Indian pony that the boy’s name was Veer. The fear vanished on Veer’s face as soon as he saw the chestnut colt. Anil and Avanindra stood by the entrance. Sheregas nodded toward the bubbling stream that ran through the valley. Veer drank greedily, not realizing that the water was magical, and would make him able to communicate with the horses. Aditya trotted up close to the boy. “What is your name?” Sheregas asked.
“Veer,” the boy said carelessly. His mouth dropped when he realized what he had just heard. “Who are you?” Veer gasped.
“Sheregas. I hope we didn’t frighten you.”
At this moment, Aditya took this opportunity to introduce himself. The horses invited Veer to dinner, where they told him about Elemante, and that he was never to tell a soul what he saw in the valley. Rashmi let Aditya walk Veer home. Aditya told Veer about the Elemane incident. Veer’s face was grave. He said that his father was one of the Elemane. Half way to the Indian village, Veer’s feet got tired. The journey hadn’t seemed long on his pony, but the pony had long since wandered off, and the night was silent.
Without thinking, Veer lept lightly onto Aditya’s glowing chestnut back, entwining his fingers in the long, silky mane. “If you wanted a ride all you had to do was ask,” Aditya grumbled. Veer was thinking what a fine mount Aditya would be on hunts and during wars. Veer decided to ask, “Aditya, how would you like to live with me in the village?”
“I wouldn’t mind, but my parents would never allow it, I wouldn’t fit in, plus, the Elemane would recognize me,” Aditya replied.
They rode along in silence, and when Veer finally got off, they barely said good-bye. Veer understood why Aditya couldn’t stay, but he still was disappointed. Veer turned around and saw Aditya pivot and gallop back to the hidden valley. That was the last glimpse of the colt that Veer would have for a long while.
The Final Touches
When Aditya reached the valley, chaos reigned supreme. Kaumudi had found footprints that were much larger than Veer’s behind the rocks. Someone, (most likely an Eleman’e,) had been spying on the horses. Yash, Veer’s father had watched the horses, but Aditya didn’t figure that out for awhile. Worried parents were racking their brains to think of a safe place take the foals. They thought of the sea, the woods, and even the desert, but the foals still would not be safe. Little Agni finally was the one who thought of a place: the Indian village. The plan was carefully thought out. Every horse except for the stallions would be escorted by Veer and the other children to the village. When it was safe to return, or the stallions needed help with the spaceship, Anil would fly above the village, and since some horses could not jump very high, Veer would let them out. Darhini went to the village to explain everything to Veer, and by the next evening, Veer had latched the gate of the pen in the Indian village.
It was easy for the horses to adjust. The foals spent hours playing with the children. Even Shardul, who was normally rough and rambunctious, took extra caution around the children. The mares were ridden by the women to plant crops and for other chores. Rajesh, the chief of the village, was very happy with the horses that Veer had brought home, and he was very excited when he thought of the foals when they were grown up. They were the finest horses the village had seen in years, but a certain chestnut colt had caught Rajesh’s eye.
Aditya’s attention was completely on the young girl who was skillfully guiding him across the plains. Aditya was clumsy at first, but the girl was patient, and taught him the gentle signals that would tell him where to go. A deep voice called to the girl. The girl swung Aditya around and galloped toward the man. Aditya flattened out, plunging forward, the girl smiling, face flushed. Aditya skidded to a halt in front of the tall man. Rajesh politely asked the girl to dismount. The child willingly dismounted, and left Aditya with Rajesh. Rajesh led Aditya briskly toward the village. He stopped at a corral filled with horses and ponies that looked like they had been in a bad mood ever since they were born. Rajesh left Aditya alone with the war horses and ponies. Aditya found a patch of grass far away from the others and began to graze.
The sun was high in the sky by the time Veer came looking for Aditya. Aditya squealed and ran towards the gate, but the ornery horses pushed him away. Veer ignored them and went strait to Aditya. Without a word, Veer and the chestnut colt walked back towards the pony corral.
Rashmi practically nuzzled Aditya to death. She insisted on keeping him close by. When the children came to play, Rashmi gently nipped them away. Aditya was rather embaraced that his mother was treating him like a baby. Finally, the day was over, and the horses of Elemante fell fast asleep.
Soon the horses were let out to summer pasture. They were let out one by one. First it was only Megha and Shardul, but soon more and more were let out, until Aditya was the only one left. Rajesh and Yash planned to start training Aditya that summer. An old war pony named Akando kept Aditya company. Aditya was worried that Anil would come while his family was far away. One night, a horse appeared among the stars. It was Anil. Akando woke up and gasped. Aditya quickly jumped the fence, (which when they first got there he was unable to do) leaving old Akando gaping at the flying Anil.
Anil was surprised to see only Aditya in the pasture. He landed silently behind a tepee and waited for Aditya to run by. Aditya appeared shortly after. “Where are the others?” Anil demanded.
“The Indians took them to the summer pasture,” Aditya answered.
“At least they didn’t take you. We need the older colts to help with the spaceship,” Anil explained. “You will have to work extra hard.” They reached the hidden valley, where Aditya found his father, Sheregas, working on the ship.
“Welcome home son, there is much work to do.”
Avanindra, who was just as playful as any colt said, “Come on, he’s been here two seconds and you already put him to work? Let him catch his breath!”
After a few minutes, Aditya went to work. He felt like a stallion, working with his father and friends. By mid-morning, the horses decided to take a break. The stallions began to ask about their families. Aditya told Avanindra that Darhini was one of the children’s favorite, and looked especially beautiful with the feathers in her mane. Aditya told Anil that Shardul had made a special place in his heart for the children, but had also been chosen to go on a hunt with the Indians, and how Sagar had made a special Indian friend. Anil was very surprised! Anil was sad to hear that Megha had been sick. Aditya informed his father about Agni, and how he had been said to be a “great war” horse someday. Sheregas laughed at the thought of it! Aditya told them all about his adventures. The stallions were relieved to hear that the herd was all right, and they went back to work with a song in their hearts.
The work went on as summer changed to fall. Aditya had become very strong from all of the long hours of hard work. Aditya was approaching his fourth birthday, when he would officially be a stallion. His birthday would be even more special because he would celebrate it in Elemante. One morning, the herd entered the cave. Aditya was very happy to see his mother. Aditya noticed something: while his coat gleamed, and his muscles flowed beneath his hide, his friends were long-haired and fat. Darhini looked okay, but the usually handsome Shardul, looked horrible. Rashmi burst into tears when she saw her handsome son. The families, reunited, began to talk. Agni marveled at his brother’s strength. Stallions frolicked with their children. The peace was interrupted by the cries of many Eleman’e. Arrows whizzed through the valley, making the grass fattened foals high-tail it for the rocks at the other end, but Aditya stood his ground. Aditya and the stallions were forced to transform if they wanted to protect their families. The mares tried, but it became clear that they hadn’t practiced. Shardul tried to spring a surprise attack from behind the rocks, but his wings were weak, and the others could do nothing with their elements. Yash rode forward and had a greedy grin on his face. The horses of Elemante fought bravely, but all hope was lost. The battle was over quickly. Yash and Rajesh roped Aditya and the stallions. Eleman’e had powers too, so they made the ropes indestructible. The stallions and Aditya struggled, but there were too many Eleman’e. The Eleman’e set off toward the village. At that moment, it looked like Aditya would never see his fourth birthday, but the four horses had a mission to complete, and they would not quit until they succeeded.
Aditya passed Veer in the village. Veer begged his father to set the horses free, but Yash would not consent. All of the children were shut in their tepees because they all wanted to save Aditya. The horses were to die in the morning. That night, Veer snuck into the heavily guarded pasture.
“As soon as my sister comes, all of the guards will run to help her. As soon as I open the gate, you run home. You must get to Elemante,” Veer instructed.
A scream split the night air. The guards rushed away. The children stepped out of the darkness to say good-bye to the “horsies” and pat Aditya on the nose. Aditya never had to say a harder good-bye. Aditya would miss the children dearly. Some of the boys had brought four horses that resembled the shape of Aditya and the stallions. The good-byes being said, Veer opened the gate. The horses thanked Veer, and raced back to the valley.
The horses entered the valley to find the mares weeping. They cried tears of joy when their husbands and son returned. Sheregas announced that they would be leaving in the morning. The horses slept close together that night. The horses were awakened by the sounds of wild hooves. The horses scrambled around, trying to hide.
Veer rode into the cave. “You must leave now! My father and his band are coming! Go!” Veer screamed.
“What about you? Won’t you be punished?” Kanchana asked.
“Yes, severely, but one must sacrifice for his friends,” Veer replied.
Sheregas had heard the whole thing. “Come with us! When we arrive, you will instantly become one of us!” Sheregas suggested.
Veer’s face lit up. “I would like that very much sir,” Veer answered. Veer and his pony boarded the ship just as the first arrow whizzed through the valley.
The horses and Veer flew high up, until the Earth was only a round marble in the distance. Aditya informed Veer about how to be a horse. Before they knew it, a planet much like Earth loomed in the distance. They finally reached the planet and pulled up to the dock. Hundreds of horses had gathered to watch the marvelous ship that had left the dock so many years ago, never to return. Veer took one step off the ship and he became an earth horse. As the others disembarked, the crowd below let out a cheer. That night, on the HAY40 news, the horses watched themselves walk down the dock. The mayor of the capital city awarded them with the Golden Halter Award for their bravery, the highest honor in Elemante. The jet lag had made the horses very tired, and they slept the best they had in years.
The next day was Aditya’s birthday. Rashmi and Megha invited the children in their neighborhood to celebrate. Aditya had never been happier. He made two new friends, Aqua Marie and Twister. He also had been persuaded to go to school when it started in December. At that moment, life could not be better for Aditya.
Aditya aced every class. He fit right in. Aditya was very handsome and strong. There wasn’t a horse on campus that didn’t have a good reason not to like him. Everyone told him that he was very much like his ancestor Comet, one of the horses on the spaceship. In truth, there were some similarities, but Comet had been very rude. He was very popular, but he didn’t forget his true friends. As for Shardul and Sagar, they stood out like sore thumbs because of their poorly exercised powers. It eventually got better, but they never were as popular as Aditya. Aditya graduated with Aqua, Twister, Sagar, Darhini, Veer, and Kanchana. Agni never wanted to go to school, and joined the army. Shardul couldn’t keep his grades up, and flunked out. They were eight years old by the time they graduated from Stampford High and went on to graduate from Buckford University. Aditya was fascinated with science. After graduating, everyone went a different direction. Kanchana, pretty, but as dumb as a post became a model for Prancer by Design. Shardul followed his first love and worked at a preschool. Sagar became rich and traveled all over Elemante. Darhini worked in a science lab, and Twister stuck around, and had a job at the Fetlock Park Senior Center. Veer spoke to schools and other organizations about Earth; after all, he’s an expert! Eventually they all got married and started families. Aditya and Aqua Marie were married and they were busier than before because of their new twins, but Aditya and his friends and family would never forget their adventures on Earth for as long as they live. (Which in Elemante is quite a long time!)
|Boy Names||Girl Names|
|1.||Anil||air||God of Wind||1.||Rashmi||fire||ray of light|
|2.||Avanindra||earth||King of Earth||2.||Megha||air||cloud|
|9.||Rajesh||Eleman’e||King of Gods|