World Book Day (UK) 2013

Today my daughter is Matilda at school and my son is the Viking dragon trainer from How To Train Your Dragon. I take a break from reading Ms. Christie and open a page with words from a favourite character:

After a while, a couple of weeks it must have been, Mr. Alfie began to let me do some of the grooming, and soon enough I was out with the other lads, who’d been stable lads longer than me, exercising the horses, even riding them out sometimes. All the time he was teaching us how to behave around the horses. “You have to treat them the same way you have to treat people,” he told me once. “First you have to try to understand what’s going on in their heads, what they’re feeling. Then you have to respect those feelings. Do that with anyone, and you’ll get one fine. Do it with any horse and you’ll get on fine. It’s as simple as that.” Of course it wasn’t at all simple, because what he didn’t tell me was that it takes a lifetime to get to know how horses feel. I know how now that it takes a lifetime to get to know how people feel too. So Mr. Alfie was right, twice over.  

Not Bad For A Bad Lad by Michael Morpurgo

Then one morning when I was mucking out Bella’s stable, Mr. Alfie came over to me and said he wanted a word. He put his arm round my shoulder as we walked away, so I knew somthing was up, that something was wrong.

The story is about a boy who almost everyone thinks is a wrong ‘un – except for Mr. Alfie (and Miss West). The boy himself also believes that he must be bad too. Yet Mr. Alfie sees the good in him and brings the best of the boy: his knowledge of horses.

“Not bad for A Bad Lad. Not A Bad Lad at all,” Mr. Alfie said.

What is your favourite book or a character?


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