"Walking with Houyhnhnms", published in 2017, is a true adventure story along the Roman Military Way, in the shadow of Hadrian's Wall.
Follow the exploits, often humorous, of three previously free-living ponies - Roamer, Thorn and Solo. After enduring pack-animal training, they share an epic, once-in-a-lifetime quest, coast to coast, westwards. Discover the unique emotional connection, bonding and interdependency that is possible between houyhnhnm and human. As Solo says, "It was a momentous time."
Targeted at a 15+ and general adult audience, the 400-page, 114,000-word, largely present-tense narrative transcends faction: this factually accurate travelogue diary, told in a unique fictional style, is a story of friendship, mutual reliance, perseverance and survival. The author - with contributions from more than 100 schoolchildren met en route and from 12 teenage artists - describes, through the senses of non-human, philosopher companions, an expedition of illumination not attempted previously in the modern era.
Explore informally, during rendezvous with experts, inspiring geographical, historical and archaeological facets of changing landscapes partially shaped by the ancestors of modern-day native houyhnhnms. Understand why Britain's remaining virtually wild equine herds are facing imminent extinction in their semi-natural habitats and how we might protect them. Should we redefine the term "biodiversity" in recognition of a view that places humans at the periphery of world ecosystems?
As your journey continues, you may sense a new meaning to our relationship with wild and virtually wild species. "One day," insists Roamer, "you might enjoy walking with houyhnhnms."
Copyright D A Murray 2018