My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
I have been reading books since I was five, I always loved a book with horses in it. Often it was a challenge to find a book that wasn't sad, didn't have too much romance or was about horses at all! Which is why this trilogy is one of my favorites.
Mary O'Hara said that Ken walked into her head one day and she had to write down his story;
Ken is a dreamer, one of those boys who is so frustrating to hardworking fathers. Rob doesn't know what to do with their youngest son, he seemed to be so lost in his own world. But Nell, Ken and Howard's mother took a chance with a suggestion, give him his own horse.
The relationship of Ken and his little girl Flicka is full of emotion and turmoil. She had a loco mother so she hadn't learned any good sense, this resulted in her trying to run through a barb wire fence and being hurt so badly that it took all of Ken's little heart to make her better. During all the nursing and growing friendship Ken worried that she would be loco too, not in the goofy way but in the better off dead way.
This story of boy and horse is a beautiful example of what happens when two kindred spirits are united in the joy of life. Sometimes the beauty of ordinary days has to be shared on an unspoken level to be fully appreciated. Perhaps this is why God gave Man the companionship of aniamls, so we would be reminded of the sweet simplicity of life.
Rob is one of the rare male book characters that I can like and respect. He is a hard worker, but he had a dream and this dream made him leave the comfort of a methodical, financially stable military career to pursue his love of horses. A tough man, his is the kind that won the West. They do what needs done because the responsibility is Man's to shoulder.
Breaking horses is very different now, in face you can hardly call it by that. Cowboys have been taming horses by far more gentle ways for decades. The fast paced do or die way of cowboy life has changed to a more traditional, gentler way of living, and because of this they have more time to tame the horses they use.
I have seen a cowboy sobbing his heart out after having to shoot his horse for a broken leg.
Horses were a way of life for centuries, is it so strange that they can touch peoples hearts and lives?
Nell, a strong women, a wife that is capable and tough but feminine and beautiful. She knows her husband well and knows when to hold her tongue and when to speak up. If only all wives could be so uncomplaining!
Howard is a mere conversationl character, put in to be the annoyingly normal older brother. And yet aside from the jibing and taunting there are flashes of brotherhood in him .
This book is very true to the way of horse life. There is alot of heartache and death involved, times you have to do what is right to keep going even though it seems barbaric. Horse-poor is a term I have become familiar with, anyone who owns a horse knows what it means; there is never a time you make money, sometimes if you are lucky you make enough to break even and put up a new barn or corral but most of the time you are barely able to buy hay and pay off the veterinarian.
But even after all the dirt your heart has been dragged through it only takes one horse, one moment that time stops and your mind is shown the same world you live in but in a different way, it seems brighter, more beautiful. You are given wings.
Perhaps the hardship and love is what gives true horse people the look of peace.
By the way, Nell's desire does come true. Read the rest of the books!