By Anne Digby
Mary Wilkins embarks on a bold scheme to avoid wasting the lifestyles and profession of the cherished horse she has taken care of whereas its proprietor, her formative years ally, is away at boarding tuition.
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Extra resources for A Horse Called September
The story ends with a tea party for Mrs Tittlemouse’s friends, from which Mr Jackson’s rather greedy and dirty presence is excluded by her making the door smaller, though he is later handed acorn-cupfulls of honey through the window. Here the unwanted guests of human life mix with those of tbe animal world. In The Tale of Pigling Bland (1913), we have dressed-up pigs setting oﬀ on their own to walk to ‘market’ – which (here perhaps only for adults) shimmers in and out of its more sinister meaning.
Another and more straightforward fairy-tale parody, ‘The Reluctant Dragon’ (1898) by Kenneth Grahame, describes a dragon who is too lazy to take on St. George, but in the end agrees to a pretend ﬁght for the sake of appearances. Meanwhile, in another landscape altogether, an expatriate English writer was writing fantasy with a contrastively stark sense of reality. Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Books (1894, 1895) tell of the Indian boy Mowgli who, brought up in the jungle by the beasts, has to ﬁght for his position and eventually becomes the animals’ master.
In that limited sense they reveal themselves as anti-fantastic, for they are removing the chaotic inversions of the world on which their own fantasy depends. ) Here Evelyn Sharp’s collection Wymps and Other Fairy Tales (1897) and All the Way to Fairyland (1898), are a contrast, delighting in turning things upside-down. Sharp is fond of anti-fairies, whom she calls ‘wymps,’ who 38 VICTORIAN CHILDREN’S FANTASY play practical jokes on people and cause chaos; and she delights in inversions. In the 1898 stories a princess takes on the role of a prince and seeks her fortune (‘The Story of Honey and Sunny’); another princess ﬁnds an ugly poet beautiful (‘The Princess and the Poet’); ‘The Wonderful Toymaker’ has the idea that true silence is full of sound.
A Horse Called September by Anne Digby