The whomp, whomp, whomp sound continued to get louder, causing the mare to lift her head and seek out the alpha mare. The lead mare was standing tall and alert, her neck arched and her head up. Her ears were pricked sharply forward as she stared toward the direction that the sun sets, though it was far from that time of day.
A strange shape appeared in the sky, looking something like an enormous insect. As the odd creature grew larger, the sound it made grew louder. The horses were gripped with fear. The whomp, whomp sound that echoed off the northern cliffs changed to a chopping sound and the insect turned into a flying monster heading straight toward them. All of the mares and foals panicked and began to scatter. But the strong herd instinct within each horse took over and drew them back together as a magnet attracts metal. They were soon running together, side-by-side or nose to tail, with the alpha mare in the lead.
The monster flew over their heads and past the herd. Once in front, it spun around in the air so that it was facing them. This caused the wild horses to change course and go back in the direction they had come. Suddenly, from out of the arroyo that cut into the prairie on the west, four humans on horses appeared. They split into two pairs and ran toward the oncoming mustangs. With the monster insect behind them, the alpha mare dashed straight ahead, between the two sets of riders. The dun mare stayed right beside her left flank, running stride for stride with her, as though connected shoulder to hip. They dashed down into the arroyo. Some of the humans on horseback blocked the ravine to the right so the entire herd turned south.
The mares were already winded
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