This was a wonderful Classic, a Whole Book.
It is a story about a 10 year old boy that hasn't learned to be responsible yet. He lives on a horse ranch with his family in Wyoming. He loves to day dream. He is always breaking things on accident and forgetting things. His dad doesn't know what to do with him but is very disappointed. His brother on the other hand is a few years older and perfect. So of course they keep comparing Ken, the younger boy to Howard, his older brother.
Ken wants a colt of his own more then anything. He finally gets to pick one after his mom stands up for him to his dad. His dad is a serious Captain from the Army or something. He is strict and always gives the first and last word. Ken picks a wild mare born from bad blood. Her mother, Rocket, was a very fast horse but was never ever truly broken in. They called her condition, "loco". This means insane and useless. She would run right through wire fences and crash through wooden fences and they could never keep her in a pen long enough to train her. She didn't even care about the injuries from escaping. Her blood was bad and eventually every horse on the ranch was rid of so the bad blood line would be stopped.
Flicka was the only horse allowed to live because she belonged to the boy. They didn't know if she was crazy like her mom or not. She also had the blood from her dad, Banner. He was a good brave and smart Stallion.
So eventually from caring for the horse the boy learns all kinds of important lessons of responsibility and he grows up. Flicka, which means little girl, eventually becomes very sick with an infection from a cut on her leg when she ran through a fence. They are going to shoot her instead of have her suffer but the boy saves her life by sitting all night with her in a river. He then becomes very sick and spends the rest of the book close to death with everyone talking about him...
There is also a scary mountain lion in the book! There are also quite a few guns mentioned. They are a necessity on the farm. The two boys always have their 22's with them and shoot rabbits for supper weekly. The big rifle is the Winchester which the dad keeps in his truck and on hand for shooting sick horses and wild animals. The Express rifle finally gets the mountain lion in the end. And the mom sometimes has the revolver just in case she meets some wild animal while walking around on the ranch.
I read this book because Oct. 20th the 2006 version of the movie is being released. That is this week! Only the movie this time around will have Alison Lohman, a college girl, as the main character. She will of course have a boy friend, be stubborn, tom-boyish, ride horses like the other wranglers and want to keep Flicka even though her father forbids it. So even though the story is changed it has a lot of similarities to the original book and looks like a good flick...Tim McGraw, the country western singer, will be staring as her dad. Also the theme song is sung by him - My Little Girl.
I found out this book is actually a trilogy. This explains the abrupt end and leaving you hanging feeling on the last page. This book also was a TV series shown on Saturday mornings back in the olden days. It also has had a few movies already made based on the book, all with the main character Ken played by a boy. The trilogy books have also had movies made. It would be fun to track these down and watch them with the kids. I wonder if they are in black and white or color?
I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves horses! If anyone sees the movie this week let me know if you like it! I will have to wait till it comes out on DVD because it isn't my Birthday :(