Read our brand new therapeutic story!
“SuperThor” is about emotional defenses and explores how true courage and strength comes from feeling our emotions, rather than from being ‘tough’. The star of the story is Thor, one of the most gentle horses at Healing Hooves. In the story Thor gets his feelings hurt and is teased by another pony. As a result he tries to be tough to be the ‘superhero’ he thinks his name is all about. He has some important lessons to learn!
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Thundering hooves woke Thor with a start, and he blinked back the cloud of dirt thrown up by the horses galloping nearby. The gate to the big field must be open at last. Thor jumped up and ran as fast as he could on sleepy legs to join his friends. After a long winter of eating hay, that grass would taste so yummy.
But just as he got there, the gate closed. “Sorry, Thor.” The farmer gently rubbed his neck and fastened the jangly chain. “All that spring grass is just not good for a small pony.”
Thor gazed out at his larger friends enjoying their treat. Why couldn’t he be out there too? It just wasn’t fair. Dubh, an older pony who wasn’t allowed spring grass either, joined him at the gate, with a big sigh.
The two ponies stood together, heads hanging over the gate, eyes sad. But before long, Dubh noticed the fresh hay the farmer had left out for them and nudged Thor gently, “Let’s go eat.”
Later that week, Thor chewed slowly on a mouthful of hay beside Dubh, enjoying the warmth of the sun on his back. He had noticed two curious things—every day the farmer opened the gate to let the big horses out to eat grass, and every day she closed the gate before the ponies could join them. Thor’s ears twitched: He didn’t understand why the farmer stopped him from going out with the big horses, and he didn’t like it one bit. But it felt a little better with Dubh beside him.
Just then, Teddy, an even smaller pony who never got out in the big field, pushed in front of Thor and grabbed a mouthful of hay.
Thor snorted and struggled to regain his balance. Teddy was short, but when he barreled into him like that, it hurt!
“What’re you looking so miserable about again, Thor?” Teddy demanded, his mouth spilling hay as it started to snow. “Still wishing you could go out with the big guys?”
Thor stared at the smaller pony, who was now standing in the middle of Thor’s lunch.
“What’s wrong with you, Thor?” Teddy lifted up his small head. “Aren’t you named after some superhero or something? Superheroes are supposed to be tough. Maybe they should change your name to Super Crybaby instead.”
Teddy ran off, hay forgotten, singing a little song to himself:
“There once was a pony called Thor
Who cried and became such a bore
He couldn’t go out
But was too scared to shout
‘Super-crybaby’ suits him much more”
Thor stared at the pile of hay he had been enjoying only moments before. Now, it was all mixed in with the spring snow—just like Teddy’s words were getting all mixed up in Thor’s heart:
“Crybaby. Such a bore. Superheroes are supposed to be tough.”
When the gate closed in his face again the next morning, Thor remembered Teddy’s song. His nostrils flared and he stomped his foot. He could be tough.
Thor marched over to the hay and shoved his way in front of Dubh. He ground Dubh’s breakfast into the dirt with his back feet and snatched a huge mouthful from the biggest pile of hay. If Dubh looked sad, Thor didn’t care. He didn’t even notice. He was Thor “The Superhero” now, not Thor, “the super-crybaby.”
A few steps away Teddy’s head shot up and his tail twitched. He trotted over as there was obviously something to investigate.
Later that afternoon Thor and Teddy ran around the field together looking for something to do with all their superhero power.
They waited till Dubh was fast asleep in the shelter and ran by as fast as they could, flinging dust and dirt up into the old horse’s face.
They stood in front of the water trough for a long time, not letting Disa, a gentle pony who never pushed past anybody, get by for a drink.
Then, before bedtime, when the barn cat wandered over for a snuggle, they kicked up their heels and chased her right out of the field.
This unfriendly behaviour went on for several days. At first, Thor really did feel like a superhero. Every time that gate closed, he got a new surge of power, and he used that power to show Teddy and everyone else how tough he was. He wasn’t a crybaby, he was Thor!
But after a while Teddy grew bored of playing with Thor and went off do something else.
Thor trotted over to eat breakfast with Dubh, but Dubh ran away and hid behind the shelter. This left Thor with the biggest pile of hay all for himself. He chewed slowly. It didn’t taste so good today. Why had Dubh run away?
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