War is awful. Even more awful are stories of children and animals trapped somewhere between big, historical events – innocent creatures that are not even remembered. Suffering, with no understandable for them explanation. Michael Morpurgo used this innocence of a horse during the World War One to create a small book about friendship, goodness and sacrifice. The narrator of the story is the horse himself, which allowed author to avoid swiftly all difficult historical questions – which makes story timeless. The compassion – and suffering – of the author is visible both in this particular book and others by Morpurgo. The fate of animals is clearly important to him, and not to be left in silence. It is, of course, partially emotional blackmail. But it is always painful to see creatures not understanding, struggling against something so much bigger than them. What got me to read this book is not the movie (will not comment on that), but the play developed by National Theatre in London. There was an ultimate puppet created there, and the story got even more amazing with music and images.
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