He lay upon the top sheet, perspiring. He listened; there were no outside sounds.
Old Buford was in the barn. Buford was his horse, and getting old. Buford was his horse, but so much more: his friend, companion, brother, mother and father, and something else thrown in. Buford was part of himself, and that part was dying.
There was a sound outside; the wheeze of hard-coming death. He got up, pulled on his jeans, picked up his rifle, and went to see to Buford.