Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The Winter Pony by Iain Lawrence
Who will survive the race to the South Pole? Two explorers are on their way there. One is using dogs to carry supplies, the other one is using horses. It's a long, cold, hard trip.
Delacorte Press sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you). It has been published and you can get a copy at your local bookstore now.
This is a story told in the voice of one of the ponies chosen to make this journey. What breaks my heart is what happens to the horses making the trip. I understand the men really didn't have any other choice, but don't read this if you're a big animal lover; it will make you cry.
The horses are transported by boat the first part of the journey and just traveling the seas was rugged enough. Then they get to the snow and ice of the Antarctica and things get worse.
The truly amazing part of this story is that the pony who is taking us on this journey was abused from birth. He was used as a workhorse and got hit, whipped, abused from carrying heavy loads, and was in a pen of broken down horses to be sold or slaughtered. He was saved from that destiny by a horseman that was on the team to go the South Pole. He got named James Pigg and he learned not all men were bad.
This is a good story, but the death of the horses saddened me. Unfortunately, this isn't fiction, it's fact. Such is life. They did get a second chance at life, though, and they enjoyed working with the men.