The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse: Just Breathe

Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse reminds me of some of the books I worship. Winnie The Pooh. Charlotte’s Web. The Little Prince. Quite like those timeless beauties, this book is a tight hug, a non-judgmental listener between a jacket, a therapist whom I can’t afford, an ageless wise person, and a friend who doesn’t demand and who always stays. I am so glad that this book happened is happening to me.

In his introduction, Mackesy mentions that this book is for everybody. You love picture books? This is for you. You love animals? This is for you. You are in your 30’s? This is for you. You are in your 90’s? This is for you. Who you are and what’s happening in your life don’t matter. This book has something for you. Maybe, it’s comfort. Maybe, it’s validation. Maybe, it’s warmth. Maybe, all of it, and the book offers.

I am not sure whom I love the most. I am the boy. I am the mole. I am the horse. I am the fox. Perhaps, that’s the point. That we are everything and nothing. That we are constantly evolving. That we go back and forth. And perhaps, that’s really okay.

I am pregnant with questions like the boy. I am as greedy as the mole. Sometimes, I want to stay quiet like the fox, be with my beloveds, and observe the world pass by. Sometimes, just sometimes, I am as wise as the horse. And many a time, that’s what we want, don’t we? To find a semblance of ourselves in the characters which make so much sense to us? To realise that we are not odd? To learn that our only world houses so many people like us? To be told that we are all islands and that we can brave the storms and row our ways to each other?

This book has reached me when the times are gloomy and uncertain. It’s the time of Corona, and enduring every day is a blessing. This is the perfect time to read The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse. We are all in need of an antidote, and the book is just that.

As I write this blog, I am sure of many things — The book is my sanctuary; when my head thunders with the echoes of mundaneness, when my brain loses the will to focus, when my heart throbs like a toy drum suffering at the hands of a toddler, and when my anxiety lays siege to my peace, I will go to this book. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse will not fail me. It will welcome me, and apply balm to my soul.

Not a lot of us enjoy the privilege to lie under a tree, keep a dog for a pillow, listen to the birds’ gossip, and close the eyes, as the gentle sun performs a pirouette with its rays on the sheet darkness that we temporarily cloak ourselves with. The good news is, there are books like The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse. It is our accessible escape to a world that’s safe, kind, full of light and hope, and where you get to be you because no other you is youer than you.


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