Dear readers, tonight with me is someone who can’t sit on the interview couch, as his body is built to run in open meadows. Winston is a thoroughbred horse, and he’s here to tell us about the life of an animal many of admire but few understand.
Hello Winston, please tell us a little about yourself.
Hi Assaph. Thank you for inviting me to be on The Protagonist Speaks.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Winston from Winston – A Horse’s Tale, written by Rita Lee Chapman. This book is for horse lovers from teenagers upwards who enjoy reading about horses. It tells of my life and adventures in Australia from my birth, as well as stories of other horses I met along the way. I try to put over the horse’s point of view on our needs and the reasons why we sometimes act as we do.
What was it like to be a young foal?
My earliest memories are of galloping across green meadows with the wind in my mane and tail as they streamed out behind me, kicking up my heels in pure excitement at being alive and at peace with the world. At the back of my mind was the sure knowledge that Mum was there watching me, waiting for me to come trotting back to her, exhausted and hungry after playing with the other foals or trying out my still wobbly legs on some new and fanciful manoeuvre.
Did you have any desires, about what you would like to do as a grown up horse?
Not really. My mother instructed me to “Make sure you conduct yourself as a gentleman and if you face adversity, be brave. Even if I am not with you I will always expect you to be well mannered and to try your best to please.”
Who was your favourite owner? What made him so?
Fortunately I have been owned by some lovely, caring people and enjoyed my time with each of them. At this point in time I am very happy with Karen.
What was the lowest point in your life?
The lowest point in my life was definitely when I ended up at the abbatoir, through no fault of my own. There was a smell about the place – the smell of death. I could hear the click of horses’ hooves as they were led into the building and then silence.
Do horses have a sense of humour?
I’m not sure if we view humour as humans do, but have you ever fallen off your horse to have him turn around and look at you as if to say “what are you doing, messing about down there?”
Are there any other instances of humour that you can share with us?
Thelwell’s cartoons. If you have never seen one I recommend that you seek out one of his books. They are beautifully illustrated depictions of ponies and their antics – quite brilliant. I’m sure Karen has a tea-towel printed with some of his cartoons.
What does your future hold for you?
I hope to enjoy a long and peaceful retirement, with lots of apples.
Rita Lee Chapman was born in the UK and came to Australia in her early twenties. It was only when she retired to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland that she fulfilled her lifelong ambition and wrote her first novel. You can find Winston on the pages of Winston – A Horse’s Tale.
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