Susan's Blog

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Horse and His Boy

I am a Narnia addict, ever since I plowed through the books as a nine-year-old, while my parents set up our campsite on the Green River in Utah. Sometimes I was so mesmerized by the books that I could not look up, from the backseat of my parents’ paneled Ford stationwagon, even though we were visiting wonders of the world like the Grand Tetons or the Grand Canyon.

I particularly loved The Horse and His Boy, the fifth book of the series (or the third, depending on how you look at The Lion,the Witch and the Wardrobe: first or second? It had a particularly sweet quality to it, with the two main characters, Bree (the horse), and Shasta (the boy). The animals were more prominent characters than the humans, and Lewis draws them deftly and with his usual wit and innocence.

We all love to escape to our “own worlds.” So why is it so terrible that many autistics do that too, and even better than us? Or perhaps, those of us who must escape (the way I do, into bellydance costumes and music, or novels or endorphin-release or…) bear the kiss of autism, too?

Escape is very appealing to me. So when a friend of mine mentioned this book to me yesterday, I decided I am going to buy it today. I will try to review it formally, but for now, what struck me was how the father just went off with his autistic son to Mongolia because horses were an interest of the boy’s. The trip was not about fixing his son’s autism, but rather, engaging his son in something he loved. I haven’t seen the book yet, but my friend (my agent, actually, who is always on the lookout for autism books I should read) said, “This is what you believe, too! That all parents should find their own happiness — and their kids’ — and follow that as much as possible. It might mean finding your Outer Mongolia halfway across the world or your Inner Narnia in the backseat of your parents’ car.


The NYT “Well” Blog covered this, too:

— Cathy in CT

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 3:21 pm

So, it doesn’t necessarily have to be about healing, but about doing things with your kid that are fun for your kid and you! I’m for that.

— added by Anonymous on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 7:09 pm

I completely agree. I am addicted to books especially Oz, Narnia, Harry Potter, anything with vampires, autism is also a favorite topic. I also indulge Jarrett’s love of drawing, acting, movies, anything that sparks interest and excitement from him is worth pursuing.

— added by cameramom on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I really like this idea. Thanks.

— added by AJ on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 4:12 am

We have been blessed to have a horse in our lives for the past 5 years…my son has gained more from Minnehaha than any therapy. Minne has a terminal disease and is being put down on the 29th. My son is heartbroken…the bond between the two is extraordinary.

— added by Osh on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 8:43 am