The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Four characters form the basis for Charlie Mackesy’s extraordinary book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.

Four characters also currently inhabit my home and help me define the word family.

Each of us, like you, depends on kindness and bravery to power us through our day. Also, each of us loves cake.

For all those reasons, I think Mackesy wrote this book especially for us. I bet you’ll think he wrote it for you and your loved ones too.

On the surface, the book seems very simple, because it is. But each page — every single one — will make you catch your breath, ponder a bit, and eventually nod in that heart-swelling way that says, “I get it and I’m in.” All four of the people in my home have been all four of the characters in this book at one time or another.

“The boy is full of questions, the mole is greedy for cake. The fox is mainly silent because he’s been hurt by life. The horse is the biggest thing they have encountered, and also the gentlest,” writes Macksey in his charming intro.

I know for sure that some of the biggest people I know are also the gentlest and, especially since Whisk and Arrow moved into the neighborhood, I am always greedy for cake.

“Sometimes I think you believe in me more than I do,” said the boy. “You’ll catch up,” said the horse.

I’d like to plaster all of our bedroom walls with pages from this book, so we can surround ourselves with its wisdom and sweetness every day.

“What do we do when our hearts are hurt?” asked the boy. “We wrap them in friendship, shared tears and time, till they wake hopeful and happy again.”

My daughter Katherine, one of the best gift-givers I know, sent us this book. She loves cake and people too.

I’m going to share a few pages from the book and I am also happy to share my copy with anyone who’d like to read it.

Mostly, what Charlie Mackesy, Katherine and I want everyone to know is that:

“Life is difficult, but you are loved.”

Katherine has armed herself with a forcefield of kindness, which is helpful to both her and me as she and her equally kind comedy partner Leah make their way in the difficult world of comedy.
I know I have told this story before but, when I was pregnant with my oldest son Charlie, my husband and I attended a prenatal parenting class. We had to go around the room and say what we wanted for our children. I said I wanted my child to be kind. “What a wimpy thing to want for your kid,” one of the guys in our class said. He wanted his son to play football. I was pretty appalled at the time, but the joke is on that poor guy because my son Charlie grew up to be very kind and he also played football.
I think every child should know this too…
…epecially the one to whom I read this book.

6 thoughts on “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

  1. This book keeps showing up in my life. Perhaps I need to make a trip to the library today. Thanks for this, Laura. And especially thank you for raising kind humans. The world needs more of that.

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