(as told to Mary Sheeran within the sound of a rushing wind on a moonlit night)
I think he is coming again today. I hope so. I think I heard them say so. It is getting to be that I just want to remember and tell stories back and forth. But it is fun to ride together again. All right, I am getting old. So are you, so there!
It is true that once I was very important. I worked hard and I had to put up with some rough hands, let me tell you. I have done many interesting things. But what matters is that he and I, we got rid of Monastario, we foiled the Eagle, and no one ever could catch us. Even with the bright lights and those big things in the way, and the wire things - it did not matter, they could not catch us! All right, they did once, but I showed them.
I caught up with the lancers every time. They would have hours to start, and I would always catch up with them. I am not sure myself how I did that, but I did it. They said so. And of course, he got the credit, but he knew who really had done that ride. "I am not complete without you," he would tell me. He visits me many times. We can ride, years later, and we still remember racing ahead of Monastario, riding fast to rescue that crazy Anita, or Maria, or Nacho Torres, or AnnaMaria, or Garcia or catch that wily Cuchillo, oh so many of them - and that time we rode out of the burning corral!
I remember everything - more than you do - waiting for him to leap on me, and I would run like the wind and no one would catch us. Oh, we remember.
So many stories--we were the wind, we were justice. It is a ride that is very difficult, but we still believe in it. You must, too. That is what I want to say. It is so hard sometimes because justice looks like the really rough road, and everyone else is riding the easier one. But don't be tempted. Because when you ride for justice, you remember it forever, and you keep each other in your hearts forever. That is what I believe.
The last time he came, we leaped over obstacles like the old days and went like the wind. I am not really all that old, not when we ride. I always will protect him, for we are allies and friends. Our work is vital. We remember. We share. It is real, every time.
We may think our worlds are narrow, that our livelihood depends only on that person coming with food or to take us out for exercise. Listen. They have no power over the life of my insides, my being, myself. They think I live in this little world they made for me, that I live only for their feeding me and their silly jokes. That I need them, only them. They think they know me, but they do not. They are in narrower stalls than I am. I have carried El Zorro. I still do.
They call him, "Mr. Williams.
"Well, they call me Diamond Decorator. We have a lot of names between us. He knows better. I know better. He pats me and he talks, like old friends we are, and we pick up just where we left off, as if we had never been apart. When he speaks to me with affection and humor, and when he laughs and tells stories and we remember, I am glad to be his ally again. He knows what I can do, asks more, and I give it. I always have.
The ones who call me by another name and do not know who I am, they live in a closed, narrow, and dark world, narrow as this stall. They believe in this stall. They think it is all I know or need to know. They have not lived in the daring rashness and in the triumph of restoring justice. I have. He will be coming again, and we will talk, and he will call me by my right name.
You out there. Come out of your dark and narrow stalls, raise your eyes and live in a world of new seeing. You can change this world. You can take hold of it and bring healing and justice and wonder. This is what is real. I know. I am Tornado.
(written in honor of Tornado, and Guy Williams, who often went to visit the horse who was Tornado long after Zorro stopped riding for Disney)
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