I don't know what came over me, but today I revisited "The Quest," which I've renamed "Quest Schmest." The idea for this story was sparked by a session at the Willamette Writers Conference a couple of years ago.
No one asks the horses if they want to go on quest in magical lands full of magical dangers. So "Quest Schmest" includes the observations made by one sassy red mare who isn't too excited about traveling through Khodjian (The Land Beyond) but will take her Princess anywhere she wants to go.
Frantiska, the red mare, is based on my own chestnut mare (now grazing in greener pastures). Princess Vanda rides Frantiska on an adventure intended to demonstrate to her father that she doesn't need a husband to help her rule the kingdom when the time comes,
When I heard agents and editors indicate that talking animals were "out" I went back through the story to edit out Frantiska's commentary.
However, I've decided to be true to my original concept and I'm returning to other drafts where Frantiska voiced her view of events.
Yeah, I know. I should have worked on "Water Tribute" today. But "Quest Schmest" was calling to me. I'll probably bounce between both stories as inspiration strikes. What can I say? I'm a Gemini.