What I really love about the books by Angharad Thompson Rees is the imagination involved – as well as the horses! She writes in a beautifully descriptive way that I am sure children will love. This is true of previous books I have read by her. It is also true of The Desert Pony, a short story for young horse fans.
Young Hannan lives a lonely life. As the only son of his parents, his life takes a devastating turn when his mother becomes ill. In search of a cure, his parents leave seeking a mystical lake in the middle of the desert. Hannan is left in the care of his grandmother. Sadly, she in time passes on, leaving the young boy all alone – except for the goats that he tends to.
His life moves in cycles of travelling with his goats, seeking good grazing. When they are fat enough he sells them at market, buys some more goats – and grain to feed them alongside the grass – and off he goes to do it all again. A chance meeting with a strange old man suddenly turns the direction of Hannan’s life. The young boy finds himself on an unplanned adventure, without goats but now in possession of a rather unusual pony.
And it is this unusual pony – and his unique sense of humour and incredible talents – that help Hannan to seek that which he has lost: his beloved parents. The Desert Pony is a wonderfully imaginative tale. Angharad Thompson Rees has woven in some delightful riddles into the story and a touch of humour. The theme of focusing on the thing you want most, rather than trying to have it all is a good one for young – and older readers alike – to learn. This is another short tale in the Magical Adventures and Pony Tales series that is highly recommended.