A few weeks after the release of The Long Ride Home (the sequel to The Horse Boy) Rowan spontaneously picked it up and began to read it. We were surprised and a little nervous. How would he react to reading about some of the trickier moments of his childhood?
Such as when, a year after Mongolia, he began to regress and poo in his pants again or the tantrum he threw when he had to leave a girl he had become particularly attached too in Africa?
As it turned out we had nothing to worry about. Rowan began to use the book as a tool to help him understand what makes him different and special.
As well as becoming interested in the subject matter of the book Rowan also became increasingly interested in the descriptions that Rupert used to describe some of the scenery and animals that they saw. One particular sentence seemed to catch his interest and he began to repeat it to me over and over again. The sentence in question was describing a herd of elephants that they passed on their journey to see the Bushmen healers in Namibia which Rupert described as – ‘like slow grey battleships, like houses on legs.’
Rowan loved this description and we realized that this was the perfect opportunity to begin to re-introduce the idea of creative writing to him. Starting, of course, with similies. As always toilet humor was our friend. We began to create similies to describe the poo and farts of the various staff members and working students that are currently working with us at Horse Boy headquarters. Rowan thought this was hilarious. We then moved onto creating similies to describe his beloved cartoon characters. By the end of the week Rowan had written his own poem using similies about Grumpus Pumpus – a cartoon character he created for his on-line television show ‘Endangerous.’
Grumpus Pumpus the space monkey is a friend to all
He uses farts to travel around the world which is very cool
Grumpus Pumpus the space monkey is a friend of mine
His farts smell like roses, really quite divine
Grumpus Pumpus the space monkey is a friend of yours
His bottom smells like sunshine, as he takes people on tours