My name is Pegasus, a pompous name for a scrawny and dirt horse. I have been mistreated by my owner or my boss, if you prefer. Do you think you have misunderstood? No, you don’t. Unfortunately, like me, my fellow horses are mistreated too.
Let me tell you my story.
I live in Petropolis, a beautiful city in the mountains, about an hour north of Rio de Janeiro. Petropolis is known as The Imperial City, because it was the summer residence of the Brazilian Emperors.
You must be thinking that I’m showing of, don’t you? Maybe I am. I’m proud of living here, and I’m not stupid. I listen to what people say and learn.
I work, and I work hard. My job is to carry tourists around the city all day. My boss says it is a job but I don’t feel this way. I’m a slave.
I have to pull a carriage full of people, no matter if I’m tired, or sick or hungry. No matter the weather conditions either. I have no rewards, not enough food or water during my working hours or after.
Other day, I saw one of my friends pass out on the middle of the street because he was exhausted. I wonder when it will happen to me. My friend was lucky; a good soul took care of him. Someone should tell my owner that the slave time is over.
Tourists come to Petropolis, and they should come, is a wonderful city full of history. Tourists like to go around in a carriage. I will give it to them, it’s charming and romantic. Above all, it’s a tradition. The carriages are called “Vitorias”, to honor the queen Vitoria from England. Here I am showing off again. Sorry about that.
The tourists enjoy the ride, but I’m sick of it. I’m tired of seeing the same places and hearing the same stories and complains. I’m tired of carrying people around. They don’t care about what happen to us.
Don’t tell me I’m ungrateful, because I don’t have anything to be grateful for.
Sometimes something interesting happens. Another day, to my surprise, a woman came to talk to my boss. I thought she was another tourist interesting on a tour, but she was not.
She was born in Petropolis but long ago had moved to Germany. She confronted my boss, telling him that it was cruel the way he treated me and the way my fellow horse were treated.
She showed him a picture. Curious I craned my neck and got a glance at it. The picture showed a carriage without a horse. I didn’t understand it, so didn’t my boss. The lady explained that she had seen it in a city called Munster, in Germany. The carriage was propelled by a motor, like a car.
I closed my eyes and dreamed with it. Who knows, maybe one day my life would change, my owner would get one of those carriages and I would spend my final days on meadow.
I don’t mind doing some work, but I deserve respect and I deserve being well treated. Not only me but all my fellow horses and the animals.
Marcia Weber Martins