I am off today and feeling bummy. Ever since Covid, to be honest, and the weather isn’t helpful either. Heavy air + asthma + migraine + whateverelse = Blah.
And so, I give myself props for pulling my hiney out of bed and into the muggy world we call “outside”.
Off I went on errands to do this and that.
By late afternoon, I found myself at the Book Depot (a fave place!) and next to four glorious tables of Books on CD for a ridiculously low price. Pick one or a hundred, long or short, best-seller or bargain bin, one low price. Nice!
I’ve talked about my love for listening to books before (HERE, if interested)… and haven’t done it for years. The job I had ended, along with the long drive to get to it, which is when I did the listenin’. Over the years I worked there, I must have “read” (listened to) over 100 books. All kinds, too! Mysteries, biographies, self-help and yes, some fiction, though it wasn’t my favorite. But I am kinda digressing.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy is not a book I’d heard of before today. Pity.
The audiobook clocks in at just an hour and I’m sure it’s the kind of book I’d love next to me on my nightstand, which has become THE spot for special books, usually short, always beloved.
The cover got my attention but so did the back. Read this…
C’mon! Dogs, bees, barns, moles, foxes, horses????? How could I NOT get it?
I put it on the moment I got in the car. Had a little trouble with the shrink wrap as you can see (LOL – I scratched right through the bar code!) but never fear, the CD is fine!
As I listened, I felt transported…
And was SO HAPPY I’d gotten it in this modality! Hearing Mackesy’s voice makes it so much more personal! The composition, music and even the slightly awkward breaks make it feel like you’re right there and he’s trusting you, TRUSTING YOU, with his creation.
It’s a beautiful creation.
It’s a children’s story that will appeal, once again (since I seem to be gravitating toward this kind of thing lately) to adults. Especially adults who know their inner child and wish to inspire and nourish them!
I purposely took the long way around everywhere I had to go so I could listen to the entire thing… and at one point, saw my face in the rear view mirror. My eyes were misty, I was smiling from ear to ear, and I looked… peaceful, calm, thankful. It’s exactly how I felt!
The story is about the people (or animals or both – as Mackesy says in his Introduction, he expects we’ll see ourselves in the animals and/ or the child) we meet in the world and how we react to them.
But of course, it’s not that straightforward. It is a children’s book, after all, and the lessons learned are told through the journeys of a boy, a mole who likes cake (okay, he LOVES cake!), a dangerous (or is he?) fox and a wise horse.
Mackesy also says he’s partial to picture books, which is why he wrote (and illustrated) this one – and reads it himself on the audiobook because … hey… someone has to describe the pictures. Right?
A funny thing happened as I pulled into the driveway. I sat there for a few moments in silence, savoring what I’d listened to… when I realized the street was very busy with cars, which is abnormal.
Then, I remembered there’s work being done on the major street up the road and traffic must have been diverted.
As I stepped out of the car, feeling joyful and grateful for what I’d just experienced, I heard three things: the skid of brakes, a revving engine, and a male voice that boomed: “What the #@$! are you doing, you #@$!ing knob?”
“Ah yes,” I thought, “We certainly DO see ourselves as animals!” At least, *some* of us do, eh? Wow.
Kidding aside, this is a beautiful, wonderful, whimsical book! I highly encourage you to get it on audiobook, if you can. If not, I have no doubt it is a VERY SUITABLE end table addition!
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I have read and re-read this book. I have not purchased a hardback in some time, going Kindle or public library but this book I purchased. ❤
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