The Alteration of Arbez
By Isaiah Hardman
"Bang", Poseidon, Greek god of the sea slammed his trident against the rock, cracking it in half. In between the two sides of the rock, horses sprang. The first and most beautiful horses were born to the world. They were completely white, except for their manes which were a brilliant gold.
Three years later, a Trojan named Arbez owned half of all the horses in Troy. He loved the horses. One summer night, Arbez lost one of his beloved horses. Because all the horses in the world were identical, he didn't have the heart to take someone else's horse based on a suspicion. One night he prayed to Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, that his horses would have different coats. Arbez made it clear in his prayer that he wanted her to make his horses uniquely beautiful, because all she did was make beauty.
The next morning Arbez found Aphrodite at his diamond encrusted door. She asked where the horses were, and he led her to his majestic stables. She went to the first stall and began to caress the horse. With a shock Arbez realized that wherever her hand touched the horse, the color changed or a pattern appeared. Soon he left her.
Poseidon had been watching this trying to hold in his anger, but it was too much. To do something so ruthless, changing something that Poseidon had made, was more than he would tolerate. Poseidon rose up on the crest of a wave, pointed his trident at Arbez, and transformed him into a horse.
Frightened, Arbez galloped to Aphrodite to tell her what happened. As soon as he reached the stables, Aphrodite stated to caress him not knowing he was human. As she did, black and white stripes spread over his body and mane. She decided to give him a name because he was the only horse with stripes. "Zebra", she announced, "after all, it is your master's name spelled backwards".