Friendship And Wisdom In The Saddle Club

Carole Hanson and Stevie Lake have become close horse pals during their stay at Pine Hollow Stables.  Their friendship is given a jolt by the arrival of a new girl, Lisa Atwood.  Lisa is not as skilled in riding as the other two, and her mother wants to remove her since she considers riding too dangerous.  In the end, though, her mother learns of  her daughter Lisa’s skills, and Lisa also gains the respect of Stevie and Carole.  Indeed, it is Lisa who comes up with the term The Saddle Club.  Together they face many adversities, especially the wiles of rich, sophisticated Veronica, who displays a self- satisfied malicious smile whenever she attempts to break them up.  But Elizabeth Regnery, “Mrs. Reg” co-owner of Pine Hollow Stables with her son Max, sees The Saddle Club as something special.  She recognizes the deep meaning of friendship, which will serve the girls throughout adulthood. For that reason, when Pine Hollow is threatened with extinction, she makes the girls promise to continue The Saddle Club.  Besides The Saddle Club, Veronica and Kristi are friends, united by their wealthy backgrounds  However, their friendship is rather possessive.  When Scooter enters, he becomes one of Veronica’s best friends, and later boyfriend.  Ashley and Melanie are bound by their youth; they are the youngest members of Pine Hollow.  Their love for each other is shown when they perform a charming number to obtain money for the salvation of Pine Hollow.  Thus friendship is a major presence in Pine Hollow.

Mrs. Reg is the embodiment of wisdom in Pine Hollow.  A clear authoritarian figure, she never yells at the girls.  Nor does she preach.  She often tries to get them to reflect on their actions, but like a true teacher she encourages self-discovery.  She serves as a model for the girls, who all respect her.  She is a master cook, whose “famous gourmet sandwiches”  help to create a romantic mood for Max and Deborah.  She is an experienced rider, whose knowledge of horses puts the girls in awe.  She is an independent woman with the freedom to do as she likes.  Thus she serves as an important role model for all the girls as they witness the numerous capabilities of the mature woman.  She guides them through birth, death, courtship and marriage.  Through her they learn to gain compassion for others who are very different from themselves, but who have their own troubles.  And throughout her many conversations with the girls, there is usually a dollop of wisdom.

King Machush And Lerner And Loewe’s King Arthur Provide Some Interesting Parallels

King Machush, the hero of Janusz Korczak’s Machush novels, and Lerner and Loewe’s King Arthur from their musical Camelot provide some interesting parallels.  Although King Machush is a child, and later adolescent, and King Arthur is an adult, both are kings that try to bring about reforms that will better their kingdoms.  Both kings have their tutors:  King Machush learns about parliament from the Melancholy King, and King Arthur learns about the natural world and its consequences from Merlin the Wizard.  Since the Melancholy King must take care of his own kingdom, Machush must make decisions on his own.  In King Arthur’s case, Merlin is abducted by Nimue to live “in a cave by a sapphire shore.”  Thus, his educational mentor has been taken away, and he is left to ponder his own decisions.  In both the Korczak children’s novels and in Camelot reform is not easy.  The Ministers oppose many of Machush’s reforms for children, and they arouse the ire and envy of other kings.  King Arthur comes to realize that what is important is not might is right, but might should be used for right.  Based on that conclusion, he forms the notion of his Knights of the Round Table.   Ultimately, both kings are destroyed by forces outside the kingdom and within the kingdom.  In Machush’s case, it is the newspaper reporter from the Young King’s realm that introduces anarchy to bring the ruler down.  Machush’s closest friend, Fellek, follows his own greed and selfish desires to betray and finally destroy Machush.  In King Arthur’s case, it is the arrival of Mordred, a kind of evil genius and Arthur’s abandoned son who causes ferment between the knights that breaks out in a war, destroying both Arthur and Mordred.  The illicit relationship between Queen Guenivere and Sir Lancelot serves to humiliate, and, eventually, destroy Arthur.  In both King Machush’s and King Arthur’s situations, passions interfere with the heroes’ rational intentions.