Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The exam season

Daughter has gone off to do her latest GCSE science module exams today, with our big question of the day being "Can you resit a resit?" Answer comes there none.

For those of us for whom the exam season is a thankfully far distant memory, but who yearn to share their offspring's pain, or revisit their revision-strewn youth, here is an entrance exam to the world of the pony book.

English

A.  What part should poetry play in the fully rounded pony book hero’s life?

1.  You quote poetry in a dashing way as you sweep around the countryside on your pony – you thrill to the way the cadence of the words matches the rhythm of your pony’s movement.
2.  You have learned by heart John Betjeman's Hunter Trials, and that will do nicely, thank you very much.
3.  What is poetry?


B.  You have gone to visit a cousin.  She thoughtfully puts out a selection of literature on the bedside table for you.  What would your ideal selection be?

1.  School stories.  Not your cup of tea, but reading them would help you reach out to your cousin and understand  her way of thinking.  There is more to life than ponies, after all.
2.  The latest copies of Horse and Hound and Horse.  Dressage Weekly might not go amiss, and a Breed Society magazine is always good.  You never get the chance to read any of these, and it will stop you trying to read other peoples' copies over their shoulders in the train on the way home.
3.   A completely irrelevant question, as you have brought your own copy of The Horse in Sickness and in Health.


C.  You are no stranger to literature.  Your bookshelf is stuffed to overflowing with pony stories.  Alas your local bookshop and library do not share your obsession.  Do you:

1.  Read your collection again.  And again.  And possibly again.  If there's no pony, you're not interested.
2.  Write your own book.  Your youth is not an obstacle, and there is bound to be a publisher keen to print your story Hard Times, a Pony who Fell and Rose Again, particularly as it has been illustrated by your talented friend Mary.
3.  Give up the attempt to read and spend the rest of your life regarding people who do with deep suspicion.


===End of paper===

6 comments:

Barbara Fisher March House Books said...

A–3 (although I was tempted by 1)
B–3
C–3
No worries – exams is easy-peasy!

Sue Millard said...

Answers:
A - 1, and you probably also find the rhythm of the pony's feet summons up certain pieces of music too. Which you then can't shift from your head until the next ride (or drive).

B - 2 or 3 depending on whether the magazines were copies I'd missed buying.

C - 2, definitely, I've written 35,000 words of the novel and am off right now to write some more.

Jane Badger said...

Barbara! Shame on you! What is poetry, indeed? Succeed as pony book heroine yes, as book dealer - hmmmmmmm.....

Sue - I hope your friend Mary is talented. Looking forward to the results!

Unknown said...

A-1 (My pony and I enjoy riding to songs very much, and poetry is pretty much the same, isn't it?
B-1 It's the only way to persuade my cousin to buy school stories that also have lots of ponies, such as Constance White's Westways stories.
C-2. Never got 'em published but started writing pony books when I was about 10! Know I could do much better now.
(This is mctick from the forum commenting)

Barbara Fisher March House Books said...

I ony repetin what I lerned Miss!

Jane Badger said...

Well done Mctick. You definitely have a future in the pony novel.

I do understand Barbara. You can come out of the corner now.