Wednesday, October 5, 2011
King of the Wind (1949)
Sham, the horse, and Agba, the mute Moroccan boy who cared for and loved Sham, were pretty much inseparable. Agba slept in the stall while Sham was being born. He prevented Signor Achmet, the keeper of the horses, from killing Sham when he saw the sign of misfortune on his breast by showing him that Sham also bore the symbol of speed on his heel. So begins the tale.
The sultan of Morocco decided to send his six most perfect steeds to King Louis XV of France. Sham was picked to go, and Agba with him. Here their troubles began. From one situation to another they met misfortune after misfortune. I kept thinking they would at last be given their due, but not until the very end did Sham receive the honor I, as the reader, kept looking for. Sham sired several race winners and was honored at one of the big races that two of his children competed in and won.
Going from unfortunate situation to unfortunate situation became rather tedious. (It reminded me somewhat of Black Beauty, although that horse at least had a kind master once in a while. Full disclosure. I haven't actually read Black Beauty, but I'm pretty sure I saw a movie version. : ) The take away for kids would be to persevere through all hardship and credit will be given in the end. Also, "to illustrate to young children what could happen to perfectly good horses that were considered worthless because of prejudice or unwillingness to see what was there." (Nonesuch Explorers "sizhao" , reviewer on Amazon) And I imagine they could generalize that concept to people.
This is a highly fictionalized account of a true story. For facts, you might want to visit http://www.tbheritage.com/Portraits/GodolphinArabian.html
Henry, Marguerite. King of the Wind. Aladdin,1948.