Occasionally we see this little herd of feral horses munching the weeds and grass on the “canal.” I can only assume that the “canal” once was a canal because it’s called canal, but now it is just a grassy strip that cuts through Maadi. I can also only assume that the horses were feral because no one seems to own them, but here they are living in the middle of a giant metropolis. They are as skinny as a rail, which doesn’t bode well for the horses—you can see every bone in their bodies and they certainly don’t live up to the phrase “as healthy as a horse.” They are also never tethered to anything, never have any equestrian nearby, and they are free to charge around the city at will.
Yesterday we were walking back from Road 9—we had to pick up another power strip because yesterday we had both computers and a fan plugged into a three-way splitter and just about started a fire; when Andrew unplugged the fan sparks flew out of the socket for several minutes, scaring us both half to death—we saw the horses again.
I think it was Rachel who noticed them first. She gets really excited when she sees animals, puts out her radar arm, and yells at them, so we’re pretty good at noticing animals right away. There are usually four of them grazing together, some white ones and some brown ones. We walked by slowly, talking about the horses and what they were doing. I kept my eye on them as we walked by, not because I was afraid of the horses, per se, but because I was afraid of the dog that was nipping at them. I didn’t want him to come nip at me, too, so as I walked by I craned my neck farther and farther around in order to keep the dog in sight. Pretty soon I was walking sideways, all the time watching that blasted dog.
The horses, I think, weren’t very impressed with the dog, either. They vaulted over the bushes and began galloping down the street at full speed, whinnying and whining as they went. Seriously, they would have trampled us if we had been walking a few paces slower. We were standing so close to them that I could feel their speed and probably could have touched them if I took just one little step closer.
I froze and watched in shock as they disappeared down Road 10, the sound of their feet echoing long after they had disappeared from sight. I don’t know where they thought they were going since there isn’t really anywhere to graze on Road 10, let alone anywhere big enough for a horse to stand.
What is that, like near-death experience #72 in Cairo? I think that sounds about right. We’ve only been here two months…