This is a tragic story of a wild, white Manchurian pony’s capture by men and his forced life of serving cruel owners, and later becoming part of an historic journey--the 1910 Terra Nova polar expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Robert Scott. James Pigg, as he is named after a book character, tells his story from his pony point of view. He finds kindness and friendship in Patrick, one of Scott’s men, and decides to work hard to help men accomplish their goal. Sadness, brutality and hardship follow, as men and animals suffer in the battle against the elements: Extreme bitter cold, shifting snowstorms that distort directions and ice cracks that open and close; killer whales beneath the surface that can rise up through two feet of ice in an attempt to make a meal of a man, pony, or dog; sickness, diminishing food supplies; sled dogs waiting to devour ponies. Captain Scott is determined to persevere, to beat his competition, the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, and be the first to arrive at the South Pole. This story is a page-turner, well told, well researched, but not for young readers who are too sensitive to animal suffering and death.
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