I picked up an old children’s book I found amongst my stuff, to re-read. The Wild Heart, by Helen Griffiths. Published 1953. I reckon it’s around, or at least, 40 years since I read it. I was so hit with familiarity as I read the first couple of sentences, and saw a word that had not been in my mind all that time, that I burst into tears.
“The gauchos say that there is a heaven for horses. They call it Trapalanda.”
I wonder how many other people know or have heard that magical word.
It is a very beautifully written book telling the story of a wild horse, and all she suffers as various men try to capture her, for her speed. It creates such an atmosphere and is in the end so sad; I have really enjoyed reading it again.
Last night, before I’d finished it, a phrase came into my head, which turns out to be the last phrase of the book. I am beyond astonished that this has been buried in the depths of my mind, un-accessed, for 40 years, and yet it has leapt into my brain whilst reading the book, and now feels so, so familiar – it’s a phrase that must have had a profound effect on me all that time ago.
“… for surely in Trapalanda, La Bruja deserved to be.”