Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Culture

A heartwarming story of a unique friendship between a four-year-old girl and a foal

By Sara McMahon

  • A free-roaming herd of horses live on the otherwise uninhabited island of Hjörsey in Faxaflói bay. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Gígja Dögg Einarsdóttir and her family rescued a foal after it got stuck in a fence two years ago. Her four-year-old daughter struck up a friendship with the foal and Gígja caught in on film.

 

Gígja Dögg Einarsdóttir lives with her family on the farm Álftarós in Mýrar, close to the town of Borgarfjörður on Iceland‘s west coast. In October last year the magazine Eiðfaxi published a heart-warming letter from Einarsdóttir where she told of the miraculous rescue of a little foal named Bragi two years ago. The article gained wide spread attention.

A free-roaming herd of horses live on the otherwise uninhabited island of Hjörsey in Faxaflói bay. The island is the third largest in Iceland and situated just off the Borgarfjörður coast. The animals feed on grass during spring and summer but survive on dulse during winter.   

According to Einarsdóttir, she and her family were getting ready to watch the European Song Contest when a neighbour phoned to inform them of a foal, probably no more than two days old, which was stuck in a fence near the farm. It was a bleak and stormy night, but the couple decided to venture out into the cold and search for the helpless animal. They soon stumbled upon the foal and brought it back home with them.  

“The sun was shining and the foal followed her wherever she went, came to a halt when she stopped, galloped around her and kicked its hind legs in the air."

After being fed the little foal felt invigorated and soon began to investigate its new surroundings along with the couple’s four year old daughter. The twosome spent the next morning dashing around a field that surrounds the farm.   

“The sun was shining and the foal followed her wherever she went, came to a halt when she stopped, galloped around her and kicked its hind legs in the air, both of them were terribly proud of themselves. Bragi charmed everyone, even the man of the house who patted him whenever he thought no one was looking,” Einarsdóttir wrote in her letter, describing the extraordinary friendship that had formed between her daughter and the foal.  

Later that day, Einarsdóttir received another phone call from her neighbour who had spotted the herd on Hjörsey and among them was a mare he thought likely to be Bragi’s mother. Einarsdóttir responded quickly and drove Bragi to the shore in the hope of reuniting the foal with its mother. As soon as they arrived, a yellow dun mare broke loose from the pack and came towards them. Mother and son then swam across to Hjörsey where the foal was greeted by the herd.   

Watch the video Gígja took of the twosome dashing around a field:

 

 

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