Longing to touch its pearly coat, the president is said to have stumbled over dozens of tree roots and stooped under countless low-hanging boughs in pursuit of the magnificent horse.

WASHINGTON—After waking to a faint rustle of hooves upon fallen leaves and peering out his window to glimpse a silvery mane in the distant mist, President Barack Obama reportedly followed a white stallion through the White House Rose Garden in the early moonlit hours of Thursday morning.

The commander-in-chief, who had dozed off at his desk while working late to prepare for summit talks with South Korean president Park Geun-hye, was said to be transfixed by the noble creature’s elegant bearing. Wandering out the Oval Office’s east door toward where it stood grazing in the dew-covered grass, he found himself frozen in place as the wild horse lifted its head and briefly returned his gaze.

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“Oh my,” whispered a breathless Obama, who stepped forward into the night just in time to see the flash of a brilliant white tail disappearing into the swirling fog. “Wait—come back!”

According to reports, the 44th president of the United States gazed longingly into the distance before heading off in pursuit of the stallion, stumbling barefoot through a maze of magnolia trees and into an overgrown oak grove, guided only by the full moon and an occasional ghostly whinnying up ahead. Every time he caught sight of the pale figure, it would reportedly disappear further into the shadow-drenched recesses of the garden, eventually cantering off through a thicket of brambles and onto the South Lawn.

Reports indicate that Obama had completely lost track of just where on the White House grounds he was or how long he had been following the animal when he pulled back a thick curtain of vines to find the stallion standing in a small clearing, drinking from a spring.

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“What is this place?” he asked in a low voice as he took in the lush, unfamiliar greenery that surrounded him, the horse having led him far deeper into the Rose Garden than he had ever ventured before. “Why did you bring me here?”

“My goodness, you really are beautiful,” the nation’s president added as the fog that had enveloped his journey began to clear.

Taking in the entirety of the creature for the first time, Obama is said to have slowly approached the animal and paused to appreciate its gentle strength and impressive size, completely mesmerized by the horse’s grace and poise. The president then slowly lifted his hand to stroke the stallion’s shimmering mane, running his fingers through its silky strands.

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“Shhh,” said Obama, who was reportedly taken aback by the animal’s eyes, dark orbs that seemed to look directly into the president’s soul. “It’s almost as if I know you from somewhere.”

“Perhaps I saw you in a dream—could it be I’m dreaming now?” he continued, staring into the creature’s calm, gleaming eyes. “But you feel so real!”

At that moment, sources said, the stallion simply turned and trotted back toward the woods, leaving the president alone with his thoughts as the first lights of dawn appeared in the sky.

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Its full majestic form silhouetted by the setting moon as it reared back onto its hind legs, reports confirmed that the horse let out a whinny of farewell, mere seconds before it was shot down in a hail of gunfire by Secret Service snipers.