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24 November 2010

The effect of books

My favourite books growing up?  The first was a series,  The Black Stallion, about a fabulous, fast, huge, headstrong and beautiful black stallion.  "The Black" became the best racehorse and sire in America, and they made the first two books into films.  The first film was visually spectacular.  I am convinced to this day that this book series contributed greatly to my love of horse racing, just because it was all about this one horse, and the love Alec had for the horse.

There was Gone With the Wind.  Scarlett was feisty, tough, gorgeous, headstrong. and liked to do things her way.  Ok, she had a stupid obsession over Ashley Wilkes.  Honestly.  What girl in their right mind would chose him over Rhett Butler!! 

Then there was Watership Down.  It was about a group of rabbits, lead by the brother duo of Hazel and Fiver, with a feisty companion called Bigwig and some others.  The story involved Fiver, who was little, but could sense danger coming, foretelling of the oncoming destruction of the Sandleford Warren, and so a group of a dozen or so rabbits made the brave decision to leave the warren and find safety and establish a new warren eventually, on the faraway slopes of Watership Down.  I recently had this fabulous and enthusiastic conversation with the stallion manager at Darley, the lovely Stuart McKay, who actually stayed at Watership Down, and was a bit of a lover of the book too. We had this funny little shared moment about the rabbits!

Despite the fact that I live in Australia and accept rabbits are pests, everytime I see a rabbit my reaction is 'oh, a bunny!' If I'm down the paddock, I stop the car and watch it, wondering if the bunny has stamped a warning to it's friends about the oncoming Hrududu, which is the rabbit name for car in Watership Down. 

So on the subject of bunnies, this sequence of images was taken during Cup week at my sister's house.  The next door neighbour's bunny rabbit sneaked into her yard.  The cat pictured is my sister's deliriously gorgeous cat Basil.  He knew he was supposed to chase the bunny, some inherent instinct told him that, but he wasn't sure about it!  I was on the bunny's side!  It was v. entertaining.

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