I went to the supermarket yesterday, fulfilling the usual Saturday chores. Briefly perusing the trashy novel section, my gaze snapped over to a book cover for “The Horse Boy: A Father’s Quest to Heal His Son,” by Rupert Isaacson and published by Little, Brown and Company, no doubt available to coincide with Father’s Day.
There is a photograph of a man mounted on a big bay horse. He was holding a boy in front of him in the saddle. They were grinning and gazing up thankfully into the heavens like they had just won the lottery. No doubt the reader is supposed to believe their horse was in on the moment because he also had his head thrown back in open-mouthed joy. His eyes were closed.
Horses don’t do this.
I snatched the book from the shelf to take a closer look. A twisted wire bit was jammed against the back of that horse’s mouth so tightly you could see it cutting into the corner of its tender skin. That horse was not rejoicing with the two people on its back but screaming in silent agony, which is why the photoshop editor arranged to have its eyes closed, less we see the white-eyed terror and the reader be offended.
Ironically enough, the book is about a father’s quest to heal his son of a chronic affliction and the healing presence of horses. I confess I have not read it, nor have plans to support a publishing company that exploits the animals that are the heroes of the book.
I’m done. Thank you for reading this far.