We can never truly know what will become of the many seeds we plant every day. Imagine writing a book, and for 25 years, your beloved work gets little attention. Then one day, it explodes.
"I'm very glad this has happened when I'm older. Because, for me, it's just a pleasure, and a joy, and a huge surprise every day that I wake up and think that a little story of mine that started in Devon, in the middle of nowhere, is going to be in Dallas," author Michael Morpurgo told us, while he was recently in the Dallas area promoting the U.S. tour of the critically acclaimed play based on his story. His book, War Horse, was published in 1982. "I don't think it ever sold more than one or two thousand copies a year for 25 years," Michael said, "And then a producer at a national theater, by accident, was handed the book by his mom."
War Horse the play, which premiered in 2007 and uses beautiful Handspring Puppets to bring horses to the stage, was an instant success and brought Morpurgo's story the acclaim it deserves. "...And in the middle of all this," Michael recounts, "who walks up the street by accident? A lady called Kathy Kennedy, who's Steven Spielberg's producer on E.T. and several other movies they've made together. Does she come because she's looking for a film? No. She comes because she's with her daughter, who is horse mad, and they see War Horse, and she walks out and says 'Steven you've got to come and see this.'"
This little seed that Michael Morpurgo planted has, after years of lying dormant, finally grown into a very fruitful tree. The movie was a huge success at the box office and was nominated for six Academy Awards. The award-winning play, which plays at New York's Lincoln Center Theater, in London's West End, and at Toronto's Princess of Wales Theatre, is currently on tour in the U.S and scheduled for many more.
What makes the original story so poignant, is the masterful way in which Morpurgo tells the story from the point of view of a horse -- an innocent animal who experiences the tragedy of war on both sides of the battlefield. Categorized as a children's book, War Horse is a fascinating and thought-provoking read for ages 8 or 9 and up. The message of humanity and peace is being spread to millions through the book, movie and play, and hopefully, that message will bear delicious fruit in the hearts of all those who experience it.
- Find out when the play War Horse will come to a theater near you!
- Read our full interview with Michael Morpurgo
- Read a review of the movie War Horse
(Photos courtesy AttPac)