As the son of an activist, American woodcut artist Lynd Ward often addressed class and labor issues in his many early graphic novels, wordless sequences in fact. So imagine my eye-widening surprise when I found this beauty of a silver book recently procured for the library about one of the most beloved cryptids on earth.
The story from 1973 silently follows the life of a young farm boy, spending his days in the pasture watching the livestock of his family. His wondering mind keeps him occupied but eventually he realizes he is in the company of a silver pegasus! The above drawing is so beautiful, the earnest almost dog-like fascination the cow possesses juxtaposed by the run-for-the-hills horror of the boy.
Like any good parent, the farm boy’s father refused to believe in such a pony with wings and took him for a good turn over both knees! Though the story has no words or sound effects, we all can hear (and some can feel) the hand meeting denimed buttocks as the ominous rooster enjoys the view.
Ward shows off his abilities in page after break-taking page as the story pushes forth to the second act. Each reader HOPES for the wonderous ride and soon we see the boy on the pegasus winging through the trees, clouds and endless sky.
The boy and the horse of the wind visit all ends of the earth performing good, the type we as adults are rarely allowed to enjoy. While the gift of the apple to the ice-fishing child could be misconstrued for a comment on lifestyles, diet, culture etc., if you look through the eyes of a child, it is merely a kindness.
The story twists and turns but is about the rebirth of creativity and imagination. Honestly, it was wonderful to see a pegasus character in a rather serious story arch as well. And the ending, well it was not what I expected (surprises!) but enjoy it for yourself. So pick up Lynd Ward’s The Silver Pony for the child in you and nearest to you.