The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse: a recipe for kindness and love

‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’

‘Kind,’ said the boy.

I’ve been following Charlie Mackesy on Instagram for a few months and love his take on life shown through the simple wisdom in his words and illustrations. 

When his book, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse came out, I just had to order it. A few of my friends may also find this book appear in their Christmas stockings!

The book reminds me of the gentle style of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Little Book of Wisdom

Charlie Mackesy has created a story that is a reminder of what truly matters, as told through the adventures of four beloved friends. 

Charlie says, ‘All four characters represent different parts of the same person, the inquisitive boy, the mole who’s enthusiastic but a bit greedy, the fox who’s been hurt so is withdrawn from life, slow to trust but wants to be part of things, and the horse who’s the wisest bit, the deepest part of you, the soul.’

These four unlikely friends discover their story and their most important life lessons.

The reviewers of this book have described this book with great joy.

A wonderful work of art and a wonderful window into the human heart

Richard Curtis

The world that I long to inhabit is the one that Charlie Mackesy has created – a world of infinite kindness, wisdom, mutual care and tenderness, and true love between real friends. My prayer/hope is that our world will become more like this one.

Elizabeth Gilbert

In the introduction, Charlie wrote, ‘I hope this book encourages you, perhaps to live courageously with more kindness for yourself and for others. And to ask for help if you need it–which is always a brave thing to do.’ 

This book is ultimately about love and what is love if it isn’t kind?

I’ve realised why we are here,’ whispered the boy.

‘For cake?’ asked the mole.

‘To love, said the boy.

‘And be loved,’ said the horse. 

This gentle book has been a balm to my soul amid the clamour of work, the busyness of the Christmas season, and in the face of conflict and problems on the news every night.

The possibilities of kindness give me hope that the world can be changed into a better place. 

The post that went viral, and which has inspired millions around the world, is this simple conversation: 

What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said?’ asked the boy

‘Help,’ said the horse.

The courage to be brave and ask for help is one of the greatest acts of self-kindness. 

‘Being kind to yourself is one of the greatest kindnesses,’ said the mole.

We often wait for kindness …  but being kind to yourself can start now,’ said the mole. 

The wise, old horse is kindess itself and a character to emulate in our day-to-day lives. 

If you’re feeling stressed out, disappointed, or feel your expectations have been dashed this year, read The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse and be inspired to treat yourself, and others, with kindness.

‘What do we do when our hearts hurt?’ asked the boy.

‘We wrap them with friendship, shared tears, and time, till they wake hopeful and happy again.’ 

About Elaine Fraser

Elaine realised she wanted to be a writer at ten years of age when the words flew off the page during a creative writing lesson. She studied English and Education at university and went on to spend many years as a high school English teacher teaching others how to write. In 2005, Elaine took the plunge and began writing full-time. Since then she has published five books and blogs at Elaine’s passion is to write about real issues with a spiritual edge. When she’s not travelling the world in search of quirky bookstores or attending writing retreats in exotic locations, she can be found in the Perth hills sitting in her library—writing, reading, mentoring writers and hugging her golden retriever.