Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Black Stallion

the blackA few weeks ago there was a post floating around on Facebook asking everybody to list their ten most favorite…most memorable…most impactful books. Because I am a thinker-of-the-profound, I thought, “Who cares?” Then, of course, I started to think back through all the books in my life. I kept coming back to one book. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. The author wrote a series of books featuring teenager, Alec Ramsey, and the black stallion, AKA “the Black”. However, the initial book is the one I remember as my most favorite…most memorable…most impactful book…ever.


I don’t recall the story specifics well enough for a book report. I can tell you that teenager, Alec Ramsey, was on a large ship. I do not recall why or where he was going. On the ship was also a powerful, beautiful, absolutely and totally wild black Arabian stallion; a magnificent animal.


A storm descends upon the sea and Alec is swept into the ocean. Flailing against the blackness of the sea and the storm, his hands fist through what turns out to be the wet, tangled mane of the black stallion. The muscular legs of the horse churn through the waves and the storm towing the boy to an island where he deposits his passenger on the sand.


Alone on the island with “the Black”, Alec more befriends than tames the formidable stallion. Together they run as one with joyous power and speed. Alec more with the horse than on him. Neither in control of the other.


There is a lot more to the story. The two are eventually rescued…and blah, blah, blah. What stayed with me was the ship…the violent storm…the sea…and the bond forged between the boy and the stallion. With a slight alteration transforming Alec into Alexandria, I have ridden this story throughout my life.


If you haven’t read The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, you really need to. You must regress to your twelve-year-old self in order to live the story. That murky year in between the mourning of Santa Claus and the uncomfortable realization that the opposite sex actually may have potential.


I have a vision of heaven. I can hear and feel hooves pounding the sand, beside the sea. The black stallion running…with me.


I looked up the history of golf. Golf was invented around the same time as the lawn. The lawn. Lawn…rhymes with yawn. According to Wikipedia the lawn was invented in the 15th century somewhere in northern Europe. I don’t remember why. Probably to allow the aristocracy to gaze across their tranquil acreage without having to strain their neck muscles looking around trees. Perhaps the lawn was invented for more practical purposes. The enemy would be easy to pick off scampering across a nicely trimmed lawn; preferable to bandits popping up from behind trees and weeds and stuff without warning.

The game of golf is credited to (blamed on) Scotland; again, around the 15th century. During my research I came across a quote by President Woodrow Wilson. His physician required him to play daily for health reasons. In 1914 Wilson described the game as being:

An ineffectual attempt to put an elusive ball into an obscure hole with implements ill-adapted to the purpose.

I am not familiar with President Wilson’s policies. He sure got it right when it came to golf.

Excerpt from the writings of Linda S. Browning