The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse

An illustrated story about friendship, relationship, courage, kindness and life.

What you can find in this book is not just a story, it is so much more.

There is a boy, a little one, who, as every little kid, wants to know everything. He is full of questions and he seems to be searching for himself. He also wants to get back home and is joined on his journey by the mole, the fox and the horse. 

He wants to know what success is, how can he not waste his time, what is it that huge land in front of him and so on. His journey starts with a mole, a really small mole, who loves cakes and who thinks that there’s nothing better (let’s be honest, how can we not agree on this?).

“Do you have a favorite saying?” asked the boy. “Yes”, said the mole. “What is it?”. “If at first you dont’ succeed, have some cake”. “I see, does it work?”. “Every time”.

The fox is quiet and buttoned up, having been hurt by life. He doesn’t say much but the other characters include him and love him just as he is. He follows them everywhere and his silence is more important than any other words. At one point he says: “To be honest, I often feel I have nothing interesting to say”, and the horse answers back: “Being honest is always interesting”.

Superficially, honesty means simply, stating facts and views as best one truly believes them to be. It includes both honesty to others, and to oneself and about ones own motives and inner reality. Honesty is an important element in interpersonal relationships, particularly intimate relationships and the social perception of dishonesty can seriously undermine judgments of likability and social attraction, leading to distrust .

“When have you been at your strongest?” the boy asks the horse. “When I have dared to show my weakness. Asking for help isn’t giving up,” said the horse. “It’s refusing the give up.” 

And then we have the horse.  He is white and wise and very special. He is the biggest one, but does it really matter? Does the size really makes you? The horse also reveals to his travelling companions that he can fly, but I won’t spoil the rest of the story or the magic for you because this illustrated book is beautiful to read, to look at and to provoke thought and introspection. 

There is a lot inside, and there is a very special friendship between all of them.

Friendships are unique relationships, but defining the relationship and its related dimensions can be a challenging task. Determining a single, fully adequate definition of it may be an insurmountable goal based on the wide variety of categories and life spheres in which friendships are formed throughout our lives. However, most researchers agree that friendship exists within the socio-emotional realm and that it is hallmarked by interdependence and the voluntary nature of interactions.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways.

I suggest to read this book by yourself, with your child, with you friends, with your partner… this is your choice, but do it.

The greedy mole and the lonely boy encounter a fox. At first he’s aggressive, a predator who would happily gobble up the mole. And they are frightened of him, but the mole puts those fears aside and helps his natural enemy to escape from a painful snare. The fox repays this understanding by opening up and becoming friends with the two of them, repaying the mole’s kindness by saving him when he falls in a river. “One of our greatest freedoms,” the mole says, “is how we react to things.”

— BBC Radio 4 Extra

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