Meet Astro, a horse who came close to suffering the same fate as Atreyu's beloved Artax.
When Nicole Graham accidentally rode her horse, Astro, into some deep mud on the coast of Geelong, an Australian town an hour south of Melbourne, she thought he might be goner. Weighing more than half a ton, Astro was sinking fast, and the tide was rising as the minutes ticked by. Terrified but brave, Graham, who was sinking herself, sat by Astro's side and held his head above the mud until rescue workers were able to come rescue them both. The Daily Mail has the amazing photos of the entire operation.
Graham and Astro's story is scary, harrowing, and inspiring—it's always amazing to see a human risk her life for an animal. For some of us, though, it's also nostalgic.
Looking at the photo above, any fan of the classic '80s film The Neverending Story may immediately notice its similarity to Atreyu and Artax in the Swamp of Sadness, possibly one of the most morbid scenes in the history of children's films. For anyone who's forgotten the heartbreaking moment, or—heaven forbid—hasn't seen it, we've included it above. Thankfully, Astro's fate was better than Artax's.