PBOTD 11th December: Elyne Mitchell - Moon Filly

Moon Filly is the story of an orphan who needs help (and gets it); really a classic figure in children's literature, but this time the orphan is a horse. Elyne Mitchell was extraordinarily good at giving her horses believably human characters. When I was a child I found it very easy to make the imaginative leap into that world; I suppose because I found it easy to think of horses as humans in an equestrian disguise. I don't find it so easy now, and wonder why. For one thing, I know a lot more about horses and how they behave than I did then, and I know that they are not humans in horsy disguise.

Horses aren't people. They're horses.

I loved this book when I was young because it approached developing relationships through the prism of horses, making relationships remote enough for me to appreciate without feeling threatened. So, on that level, anthropomorphism was good for me but now I'm well and truly grown up and no longer need to view relationships through a prism of horse, these books no longer hit the spot. I can't make that leap back, when I read them, to that particular version of myself.

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