Ferdinand the Bull - A Friend for Life
After receiving a mosaic bull statue from my father as a souvenir from his southern European cruise, I pulled out my old copy of The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. I have cherished my 1975 published version since childhood as I connected with Ferdinand through feelings of never quite stepping in time to the beat of the proverbial 'normal' drum.
Years later I was given a 2002 edition by a colleague, Teacher Mia, who appreciated my affinity with a bull who is happy to be surrounded by nature and enjoys long periods of solitude. Robert Lawson’s ‘drawings’, as they are delightfully referred to, are coloured in this publication. However, the original black and white illustrations remain preferable. The calming black and white pages allow the reader to focus on the text without being too distracted by colourful artwork. The final page is also missing from the new version. ‘The End’ accompanied by a wilting flower and cascading petals finishes the story with a satisfying sense of a peaceful conclusion.
I often dream of my own cork tree, or rather a cosy, seaside cabin, where I can sit and smell the flowers and be very happy. Thank you, Ferdinand, for showing me the way.