Winnie Award Winner at the Equus Film Festival. Dinky: The Nurse Mare’s Foal is the story of one little foals fight for survival after being taken from his mother within hours of his birth. Dinky, takes us on a poignant trip through the heart and mind of an animal, who was born for the sole purpose of producing milk in the mare. In the elite world of horses, Dinky was considered a by-product, a ‘junk foal.’ Dinky’s story will resonate with animal lovers, as well as anyone who has adopted. Although a horse, his story has been called an adoption story. The reader can follow him through the heartbreak, cruelty, loneliness, and finally to happiness in his forever home. His story is based on true events. Each event from the moment the author met Dinky actually happened, though it is the author’s interpretation of what he might have been thinking and feeling during the occasions described in his story. His early life which is unknown has been fictionalized by the author and constructed through research and imagination. There are many wonderful animal rescue leagues, many are very empathic to these young animals, though some are not. Since Ms. Bishop has no knowledge of Dinky’s early days she used the latter to enhance the strength of his story. It will break your heart, open your eyes, lift you up, and teach you much about horses. It is suitable for all ages.
Every so often, I come across a book that strongly pulls at me to read; Dinky was one of these. It is not an easy task for a writer to keep her reader's interest when the story is written in first person. Ms. Bishop's script with Dinky as the narrator of his story is exceptional. I loved this story - it is educational, emotionally engaging, insightfully written and so very rich in detail.
A real-life foal, the author brought Dinky vividly to life for me, from page one. Ms. Bishop's interpretations of Dinky's thoughts during the initial months of his life were so heart-wrenching to read yet, from the beginning, I found myself captivated by Dinky's spirit. Despite the incessant cruelty done to Dinky by humans - he was always famished, underfed, ignored and frightened - there is resilience in his nature that commanded my respect.
After reading the synopsis, I expected to be angry, to cry when Dinky, a `junk foal,' told his story of being taken from his mother, a mare caught up in man's cruel practice of breeding her only for milk to nourish a high-dollar mare's foal. It was almost unbearable, reading of the cruelty done to Dinky during his first few months of life - the overwhelming fear for his fate: being sold to a meat market or to tanners, or being adopted. In the words of Dinky: "I wasn't prepared to believe in the possibility of good things."
The story shifted, becoming delightful and enlivening when the author and her husband adopted Dinky from a fair. At that point, my tears came then from reading Dinky's accounts of his life in fresh air, with ample food, water and companionship. He tells us about learning to trust, to love and becoming part of a herd; and the silly ways in which he let the impishness in his spirit free.
Since my read, I have wondered if Marta Moran Bishop is a `horse whisperer'; I do not know. However, I do believe that she is a woman who speaks horse. Dinky told me so.