“The Wild White Stallion” is a novel about a neverending friendship between a boy and a wild horse. Written by Rene Guillot, this novel keeps on winning over the hearts of the children since 1959., the year the first edition was published. Similar to the rest of this writer’s work, this novel also tells a story about the friendship and cohabitation of human and animal.
The animal in the novel is described as the creature of its own will that lives in harmony with the laws of nature, giving the example for humans as well. Writer accentuates the difference between the human and animals, not showing neither horse or human as a superior. He describes the all living beings as equals, as the one who tries to rule the others, ends in being defeated.
The people who are trying to captivate the horse are the negative characters in this novel. The boy Folko is the only one not wanting to rule over the horse, ending as being the only friend with the horse, establishing a special bond. That’s why the horse lets the boy pet him, and later on even rides and asks help from him in the time of need.
This extremely touching novel finds the direct ways to the hearts of the readers, regardless of their age. The readers emphasize equally with the horse and the boy, cheering that the Wild White Stallion wins over the power over his herd or escapes the hunters. The tragical end is heartbreaking, although a bit of comfort could be found in the fact that the boy and the horse are at least now resting together in eternity.
It is easy to partake in this story, as the novel is filled with a lot of vivid imageries, having every event deathly described so the reader feels as he can see the exact place unrevealing right in front if his eyes. The main idea of this novel is the peaceful cohabitation of the animals and humans, but only if there exists human’s respect for the animal needs, instincts and freedom.
The freedom is the main motif present through the entire novel, as the boy’s decision to let the horse go freely proofs the true strength of the real love. The horse was forced to fight for his own freedom, as there were a lot of characters, present who tried on taming him.
At the end of the novel, the boy, and the horse is paying their freedom with their lives. Although the theme of this novel is love and friendship between the boy and a horse, the entire novel is actually devoted to awakening the humans in improving his behavior toward other living creatures.
Time: somewhere in the middle of the 20th century
A twelve-year-old Folko wanted to become the wild horse tamer, despite he was supposed to be a fisherman, as the rest of his family. He used to sail near the shore in his old boat and look at the wild running horses, but today they were gone.
As it was beginning to get darker, Folko saw a beautiful stallion hiding behind the bush. He started calling the horse with the soothing voice so the stallion stood there until his mother called him back. Folko decided to call the stallion White Mane, because of his white color.
In the meanwhile, a couple of rustlers appeared. They noticed the horses so they decided to wait patiently for Folko to leave. When the time was right, they attacked the young stallion and his mother, who has shown remarkably strong resistance. Yet, they managed to catch here, taking her with them,as they left the scared stallion in the bushes nearby.
Folko finds the stallion and wishes to help, but the animal lost his faith in humans, expecting to get hurt again. Somehow it succeeded in getting away from the bushes on its own and then ran away, following the scent remaining after his mother.
Folko told everything that happened to his younger brother and his friend, former famed horse tamer Antonio. Antonio was now a weak old man who couldn’t even get on the horse without Folk’s assistance, yet he decides to help him. Next morning they found a stallion in the swamp.
The stallion appeared after hearing Antonio’s horse neighing. Antonio was amazed by the stallion’s beauty, predicting him in becoming a wonderful horse one day and a herd leader as well. They decided to help the horse.As the time was passing by, Folko helped his grandfather while fishing, hoping to get his permission to change his vocation and becoming a horse tamer.
He spent all of his spare time talking and learning new information about horses. He found out that some of them are too stubborn so they sometimes leave their herd and live alone. Folko returned to his grandfather’s cabin by the swamp as soon as the fishing season was ending.
He went in search for the White Mane but wasn’t aware that a couple of horse tamers led by Antonio were trying to catch the horse. They almost succeeded, as the horse remained on staying free by using his last strength. Tomorrow Folko went fishing again, trying to speed op his work as he could have more time left for searching the horse. The White Mane appeared in front of him showing no fear, but then the horse tamers appeared as well, attacking the stallion.
This time, stallion showed no fear and fought back, taking the landlord and his horse down on the ground. The mad landlord said he will give that stallion to anyone who wants it, then Folko asked if he could get him. The landlord tried mocking him by telling he can have the stallion if he is able of catching him. Folko took a piece of rope and followed the stallion.
After finding the stallion, he started to call him by his name, and the animal responded so Folko started throwing the rope around his neck. Although he caught the stallion, the animal was stronger so remained on pulling him through the muddy swamp, finally stopping after some time.
By looking at the boy, a stallion saw a small dirty creature with a friendly look. Folko tried slowly to stroke the animal then hugs him and pulls his fingers through the mane. The stallion and Folko remained on hugging for a while, then went back through the swamp together while the stallion was following the boy without being tied onto a rope.
Folko brought the stallion home with him. His grandfather was suspicious about a boy being able for taming the horse, as soon shown to be right when the horse left them and ran away following the rest of his herd. Folko and his brother were very sad because of the White Mane leaving them.
With the arrival of the spring, horses started fighting for becoming a herd leader. Although the White Mane became leader after winning all the other horses, he was severely injured so he went to Folko, asking for help. Folko was delighted for seeing the White Mane again so he took a good care of his wounded leg, allowing him to stay as long as necessary.
After a couple of weeks taking care of the horse with the help of his brother, Folko decided to try riding the White Mane in a fenced area. Although the stallion wasn’t reacting when the boy pulled a rope around his head, his old instinct woke the same second as the boy tried to sit on his back.
The White Mane threw Folko from his back and ran away to the swamp again, leaving the boys sad. Folko was disappointed for not being able to tame the horse completely. Soon after he saw the White Mane’s herd being led by the other black stallion, so he got scared something happened to his horse.
After a couple of days, Folko went to the town of Arles with his friend Antonio. They stayed at a man called Giuseppe, who told them how he managed to take away White Mane’s mother from one rumbler. One evening they decide to go to the circus and there they saw a horse resembling a lot to the White Mane.
At the end of the show, they found out that wasn’t the White Mane, but also heard the landlord talking about his plan of selling the White Mane to the circus owner who could make out of him a large sensation. Antonio remembered landlord about his promise of giving the horse to Folko, but he only laughed at him.
Antonio went searching for the Folko who already left in a search for his stallion. Landlord’s tamers followed Folko and burned the bushes where the White Mane was hiding, causing a great fire, spreading quickly with the wind. The stallion was trapped inside the ring of fire, but Folko stepped inside and persuaded the stallion into riding him and jumping together out of the burning circle.
They went in the direction of the river, and tamers followed them knowing it is a good chance for catching them. The boy and a stallion went in the river and started swimming but soon the powerful river carried them away.
Landlord ordered the tamers to search and save the boy but it was too late, as they drowned and disappeared in water while holding together. Folko was only feeling the warmth and happiness as he was united with his beloved stallion while they ride forever without getting separated ever again.
Characters: Folko, White Mane, Antonio, landlord, the tamers, rumblers, Folko’s brother, Giuseppe, Folko’s grandfather
A boy who’s greatest wish was becoming a horse tamer when he grows up. He didn’t want to manipulate or own the horses, he wanted to remain their caring friend. The first and only horse he got to tame were the White Mane, a stallion he named inspired by its looks. He loved that stallion and was always ready to help him.
Folko is a deeply caring and good boy, who was working hard to make some time for his work of love and dreams. He is curious and happy to learn things that he finds interesting, although the horses were the only topic of his interest. His dream was to ride at the back of the White Mane, so he got very sad after a couple of failed attempts.
The White Mane was his top priority so he did everything in his power to save him out of a lot of troubles, ending dying himself because of his friendship with the horse. He remained the horse loving child forever as he tried in helping them get their justice as well, and the right for living free and happily.
The White Mane
The stallion who Folko meets as he was still a small foal. He lost his mother but that didn’t stop him from growing as a brave, strong horse. When he was an adult, he fought the other horses over becoming a herd leader and he succeeded by winning the black stallion at the end.
The White Mane is the unbridled and untamed horse who befriends easily with Folko and even tries in becoming tamed for a couple of times. Yet he remains on being a true wild horse as a member of his herd, unable to ignore his own instincts who inspired him to live wild and free. He had to fight for his freedom during his entire life against the evil humans who tried capturing him, taming and selling to the circus. With the boy’s help.
He remained strong enough to avoid all the troubles. He saw the boy as a true friend and a trustee, allowing him to stroke him and ride his back. He even once came asking the boy’s assistance as he was injured, because he trusted he is capable of curing and saving him.
At the end, he lost his life together with that boy, running g away from the fire and the rumblers in the freedom. Now he is able to spend his eternity being free together with the boy.
René Guillot Biography
René Guillot, born 1900, was a French writer who taught mathematics in Dakar for over 20 years. He traveled the country during this time and set many of his stories there. He also received the Hans Christian Andersen Award, which is presented to an author whose “complete works have made a lasting contribution to children’s literature.”
He wrote a two books about the horses, one of them being used as a movie script.He dies in France in 1969.