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5.0 out of 5 starsA Story about Horses, Humans, Cruelty, and Hope
Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2020
This is the second book I've read from Marta Moran Bishop. In Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal, Bishop explores the real and dramatized history of her real-life foal, Dinky. The horse was born to a nurse mare, a horse that is mated for the sole purpose of keeping a supply of milk for high dollar foals. Dinky was taken from his mother and denied a normal upbringing for the sake of profit. It's a heartbreaking tale about how humans exploit these creatures and the effect the practice has on the horses themselves. As with other books by Ms. Bishop, this book is steeped in drama and contains harsh realities couched within the story. It makes you think about horses, humans, and humanity in general. I loved this book. It was eye-opening for me and made me re-think the horse industry. If you enjoy a deeply emotional story that leaves you with a sense of hope for a better future, you'll love Dinky.
Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal by Marta Moran Bishop is a fascinating story about a small unfortunate foal which was taken away from his mother in the first hours of his birth. In her book, talented Marta Moran Bishop tells the real story of her life through the eyes of a little unfortunate animal.
Dinky's story reminds me of slavery. How can people be so cruel to animals? How can one take a small helpless child from his mother and condemn it to miserable existence or death for financial gain?
Sufferings of a little unfortunate foal affected all corners of my soul and turned it upside down. It kept my emotions high. I read this book, full of compassion and empathy to the little foal. In some places it was impossible to hold back the tears, especially when Dinky recalled his mother and begged to shelter him.
I wanted to yell, "I'm Dinky. I know if I'm loved, I'll be sweet and smart." It was hard to remember my mother now. She was just a dream in my head. Maybe she didn't honestly tell me those things. Perhaps, it was as Lucky always said - wishful thinking. Her voice and smell were so hazy now. Would someone want me, as they wanted Lucky and Kaylee? "Please, let someone want me," I whispered.
Thoughts and emotions of Dinky, described by Marta's words are amazing in their simplicity and originality. I am absolutely sure that if Dinky could speak he would not have said it better than Marta. Reading Dinky, I understood that Marta is very unusual and extraordinary woman who like no other can understand the thoughts and feelings of horses. Moreover, she can speak horse!
After going through all the torments of hell, miserable little Dinky finally finds his home and family in the faces of Marta, Ken, Chrome and Connella. Dinky, Chrome and Connella created their own small herd.
The book impressed me not only by the plot, but by bright and soulful descriptions of episodes.
"Falling asleep, I dreamed of my mother and again heard her words, "Dinky, you are smart. You are beautiful. You will grow big and strong. Someday you might be white like me when you grow up." In my dream I told her all about my new life. I told her all about my new life. I told her of the trials and sorrows, the hunger and fear of the first months, and how much I had missed her and hoped to one day see her again. I told her of Lucky and that without him I might not have made it. And I told her of Chrome, Connella, Ken, Marta, and our home. We talked about my birthday party, the fun I had, and what Uncle Kris had said to Marta and Ken earlier. I told her I was learning the ways of my herd and had a forever family who loved me and nuzzled me when I needed it. We talked about the different bugs, the snow, the birds, the sweetness of the grass, and the feel of the wind in my mane. "Mama, I will grow up gentle as Chrome, yet strong and sure too." But most of all, we talked of how I survived the pain we both felt when we were separated so long ago, and how happy I now was. "Mama, the fear and pain grow dimmer each day, and all humans aren't like the wicked men that separated us. Oh, Mama, some humans can even learn to speak horse."
Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2013
Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal is a memoir told from the first person's POV (point of view). What makes this memoir unlike any other is that the first person (narrator) is Dinky, a foal whose life begins as a seemingly insurmountable struggle. He survives mistreatment and continued disappointments during his early life.
He longs for the time he spent with his mother who adored him. But he was so young when he was taken from her, that he was confused and lonely. Additionally he hadn't learned all the lessons of life that would help him in the coming years. However, in their short time together mom infused her love into Dinky's heart and mind while reassuring him that he was smarter than most horses and would grow up to be strong. Dinky's strength would be tested throughout his young life particularly in the areas of learning the ways of a herd and to be able to trust people again.
Luckily for Dinky, a delightful couple named Ken and Marta recognized his beauty..inside and out, adopted him and taught him what it felt like to be nurtured and loved. As Dinky stated, "They even learned how to speak horse." Dinky is both a story of loss as well as a lesson on the power of love to heal.
It is rare that an author can write in the first person and make it feel totally authentic. Author Marta Moran Bishop masters this task brilliantly. A reader of any age who loves and respects animals of all kinds will be deeply touched by this book.