This is what I stumbled on.
It’s a well-written excerpt of a short story on the website of the National Endowment for the Arts. I found it by doing a google search for “near-gallop” to make sure that was a correct use of the word gallop because I thought I had read it used that way before but wasn’t sure.
I read the excerpt and was intrigued. I wanted to read the rest of the story. There are hints that the story is about war in some way, and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed any story I’ve read which was about a war the slightest bit*. But I wanted to read the rest of the story anyway. That’s the only reason I say it was well written. I haven’t analyzed it for writing craft excellence, nor am I qualified to.
In any case, it succeeds with something that I (and, I expect, most writers) aspire to: Intriging you and making you want to read the rest of the story after reading one page.
It might have had something to do with the mention of ‘an owl riding the back of a mule.’
*After thinking about it for a moment, I have to put some qualifications on this because The Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite stories. By war, I mean any physical war that takes place in the real world after the year 1500AD. In short, I mean the kind of war with guns but no spaceships or laser blasters.