Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

“The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse,” warms the heart

Taylor Pokorski
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy is a heartwarming story with many hard themes for all ages.

From its illustrations of ink, watercolor, tea stains, or dog prints, to its beautifully inconsistent unorthodox writing style, “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” by Charlie Mackesy is nothing short of art.

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse,” follows the adventures of, you guessed it, a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse. This may seem like a children’s book at first glance but it was written to be so much more. The story starts with the boy who is alone when a mole finds him. The pair never parts after meeting. The boy and the mole soon meet a fox, who has been caught by a snare. The mole frees the fox from certain death, despite the fox’s threats on his life. The new trio travels together until they stumble across the horse, the biggest thing they’ve ever seen, but they soon know him to be the most gentle. The remainder of the book is snippets of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horses’ conversations, adventures and lessons.        

This allows Mackesy to explore themes like love, finding strength, overcoming fear, making a difference, healing, success, and perseverance. The characters learn these lessons close to the heart.

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” is unique in its structure, often putting a single word on a page accompanied by an illustration. The formatting creates a thoughtful atmosphere, one that knows the weight words have. Mackesy’s story is a prime example of ‘less is more.’

In the book’s preface, Mackesy sets the tone for the other 128 unnumbered pages.

“The truth is I need pictures, they are like islands, places to get to in a sea of words. This book is for anyone, whether you are eighty or eight- I feel like I’m both sometimes. I’d like it to be one you can dip into anywhere, anytime. Start in the middle, if you’d like. Scribble on it, crease the corners, and leave it well turned,” Mackesy writes.

Pictures are a large part of “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” Mackesy sketched in ink, occasionally filled with watercolor. His illustrations enhance the experience of the book, adding emotion pairing with the text Mackesy hand wrote in the same black pen used on the art.

“It’s like trying to describe a cat, if you’ve never seen or met a cat it can be rather hard to describe, but it’s very simple,” said Mackesy in an interview with Barnes & Noble.

The characters in the story sometimes feel familiar, an inquisitive boy, a mole who’s enthusiastic but a bit greedy, a fox who has been hurt and is withdrawn from life but is learning to heal, and a horse who is wise and calm. While reading I found myself connecting people I know to the characters. Though they are just characters of fiction, many can relate with the boy, the mole, the fox or the horse. 

Perhaps this is why so many find comfort in reading, “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” It’s a story to find ourselves in.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All The Bucs' Blade Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.