Monday, June 11, 2012

Satchi and Little Star

Living in the town just next to ours is author Donna Marie Seim.  Emmy and I had the honor of meeting her awhile back at our local toy store where she signed copies of her heart-warming book Satchi and Little Star.

Along with Seim, we also met Susan Spellman, the illustrator who brought Satchi and her beloved horse to life.  Seim and Spellman were so delightful and made Emmy feel so very special.  Along with signed copies of the book, each child received a small plastic horse that looked just like Little Star! Emmy keeps her horse on her bedside table.

Seim, who spends much of her time in the Caribbean, was inspired by the beautiful wild horses that roam the island of Grand Turk.  

In the book, Satchi sees the wild horses run past her house every day and wishes that she could catch and tame one.  The horse that catches her heart is the littlest one with a white star on his forehead and one white sock.  Satchi is determined to make this horse her own despite her mama's and papa's wise words that "wild horses are meant to be wild."  

Beginning with cool water, Satchi attempts to lure Little Star close to her gate. 

"Oh, little one with the white star, I am Satchi, island girl!  
I will be your friend!  If I could tame you, I would name you Little Star!"

When that doesn't work, she tries crunchy carrots.  Since the horse was not interested, Satchi saves her sweet jelly bread from lunch and gives that a try.  

"Little Star stepped forward, sniffing the sweet jelly.  
His nose tickled Satchi's hand.  
Then, as quick as quick could be, the jelly bread was gone!"

Satchi continues to bring jelly bread to Little Star every day for a whole week.  One day, Satchi tosses a rope around the horse's neck in the hopes of taming him.  This was met with much disagreement by the horse and he quickly pulls loose and gallops away.  

When Little Star is not seen for several days, Satchi goes off in search of him and finds the horse in a thicket of thorny briars with the rope laced around a bush full of thorns.  Satchi frees the horse, tends to his wounds and lets him go understanding that Little Star is meant to live in the wild.  

"Oh, Little Star, wild horses are meant to be free!  
I am Satchi, island girl.  I will always be your friend!"

This story is absolutely loved by Emmy.  She has such empathy for the horse and will tell Satchi to let him be free every time we read it.  With barrettes and pony tail holders, Emmy likes to make her hair just as beautiful as Satchi.  Sadly, I don't have a photo of her with her Satchi inspired hairstyle, but believe me it is adorable!

When Emmy was three years old, we spent a week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina where we saw wild mustangs roaming free.  It was a magical experience for me as we watched these powerful horses grazing on sweet grass.  

If you'd like to learn how you can help save our wild horses, check out the work of America's Wild Horse Advocates (AWHA) whose mission is to promote the preservation, protection and welfare of wild horses and burros on Public Lands.  

"The horses paw and prance and neigh,
Fillies and colts like kittens play,
And dance and toss their rippled manes
Shining and soft as silken skeins;..."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

**Emmy and I would also like to recommend two more books by the duo Seim and Spellman**