The Horse That Swam Away
Walter Farley, il. Leo Summers
1965, Random House
Tena wore neither saddle nor bridle, and there was only a light halter on her head. Yet Tim could guide her with no trouble at all. She would run for miles and miles if he let her. There was scarcely a day that they didn't go fifteen miles down the beach and back.
Scant months earlier, Tim's family had moved south to a beachfront house on a remote
One day the pair's usual adventures - herding a school of mullet in the shallows, fighting a nurse shark hooked on a fishing line, galloping along the beach - turns dangerous when Tena follows a porpoise out to sea. Desperate, Tim trespasses on the territory of a reclusive Native American named Billy Roundlegs, only to discover that Billy shares his trouble - the porpoise is his own runaway pet.
A very simply written book which doesn't approach the quality of the series for which Farley is famous, but then it is clearly intended for a younger audience. His love for the unique natural world of
The horse-in-peril plot is a common one, but this slant - a horse swimming out to sea, at the mercy of the ocean and the predators therein - is unusual.
This book appears to have been based on a story Farley told his youngest child, a boy named Tim. The family had a home in
Al-Marah Athena "Tena" - chestnut Arabian mare
Al-Marah Arabians and breeder Ruth "Bazy" Tankersley are big players in the Arabian world in the
LinksMikasuki (Miccosukee) Indians Equine Vision magazine article on Al-Marah Arabians' history
Illustrator - Leo Summers
Summers specialized mostly in sci-fi magazines and adventure stories, but did a surprising number of horse books.
Five True Horse Stories by Margaret Davidson
Wild Boy by Thomas Fall
Runaway To Glory by Alice E. Christgau
The Wild One by Eve Bunting
A Horse For All Seasons by Sheila Kelly Welch (short stories)