Today I can really feel the heat. Usually I spend 3 days and 2 nights crossing the desert. The sand boils during the day and the night cools my fur. But today I am hot. In fact I am sweating. I haven't gotten a sweat in years and I've been taking this route regularly for longer then I remember.
Right now we are in the middle of the Arabian desert. 2 days from home and 1 more to go before we are across this fiery land. I put one hoof in front of the other and try to concentrate on my breathing to keep me going. I feel almost dizzy. The sun stings my eyes and spots of sand stick to my nostrils. To stop the sand getting everywhere I can normally shut my nose up but my body doesn't seem to be listening to me at the moment. My breath is heavy and I am so happy to realise we are nearly at our rest station.
The humans on our train are good people. They care for us well. While they may not have water for us while we are working, they always treat us to a bucket of greens each night. The herbage tastes wonderful and we all agree that it is worth doing this job just for the promise of them every night.
I stumble. Maybe it is because I am thinking about food, although I really don't feel that hungry. Within seconds there are 2 men at my side. They stop the train and touch my face and flank while shouting out to each other. I don't know what they are saying as I never have learned the language. Now they walk us on as the sun is setting. The man are walking with me and talking again. This time it is soothing and encouraging tones and I really appreciate the company. It is not long until we reach the rest stop, but it has felt like an eternity.
The usual hubble of noise and activity commences. I stay still. Not trusting my suddenly wobbly legs any more. The men stay with me. A lady joins us and they try to put something in my mouth but it smells foul and I resist. I feel bad. I don't want any more bad things near me, thank you very much!
I notice it is suddenly dark, but I am still hot. The blackness usually brings cool relief from a hot day but not this time.
I go down on my knees and the humans around me help me lay properly. They even cover me with a piece of raggedy material that feels comforting.
I don't understand these feelings. I need to sleep now and when I wake up I will feel back to normal again and ready for the last day of our journey. I look up at the stars and wish for the pain to go away. I need to sleep now.