When the pollen count went down below five on the official index, I went outside (ah, the sweetgreen smells of summer!) to visit some riding schools. I had my shoulderbag stuffed with hardcopy editions of my pretty good book “Sam (a pastoral),” bookmarks and flyers with their fullcolor photos and qr’s tempting people to buy this wonderful creation on the spot. Up went several flyers on each tackroom bulletin boards, into the barn lounges went complimentary copies…”What’s that book about?” said several young riders, “Can I see it? Can I read it? Can I buy it on my phone?” Who says kids don’t read? I love the younger generation. I love my niche.
Hardcopy versions of “Sam” are on sale at the Stone’s Throw Tack Shop, 416 Boston Post Road East, in Marlboro, MA. E-book readers can get in from Amazon, where it is good and cheap.
Full disclosure, although there is a large chestnut equine person on the cover, this book is not strictly about horses. It’s about bonding, or join-up, as horseyfolks would say. It’s also about working out that life isn’t fair, not for anybody, and you have forgive life for treating you rotten. There is only so long you can chew horseshoe nails and think about how to get even. We are talking about grace, love and forgiveness. Life forgives you, doesn’t it?
Nevertheless, we would do well to see animals as persons. Because they are. While they do not possess human symbolic language systems, they are eloquent in expressing themselves. They have rich emotional and sensory lives; and to regard their personhood with love and respect is a holy thing to do. I think also that regarding humans in their full personhood– reading each others’ rich gestural and emotional languages– is central to our humanity. Perhaps doing so would lesson the number of truly horrible things we do to one another. I will only mention war, trafficking and the denial of dignity to the poor and helpless.