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“Hi, I’m Jennifer Scoullar, and I’m reading an excerpt of my novel, Brumby’s Run, to be published by Penguin in 2012.
Little by little, day by day, the friendship between the girl and the rogue mare grew. Charlie knew about horses. She knew about horses, more than she knew about people. And she knew it was only through such a friendship, that the damaged mare might heal. A sort of natural wisdom guided her. Wisdom gained during endless days spent riding in the ranges. Like all children, Charlie had her heroes – role models, people she admired. But unlike most children, they weren’t sports stars or pop singers. They were scientists like Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey – pioneering naturalists who immersed themselves in the society of the animals they studied. For them, it was the chimpanzees and gorillas of the central African jungle. But for Charlie, it was the wild horses of Balleroo mountain.
Charlie had learned the hard way, that happiness wasn’t to be found in the loneliness and exclusion of the schoolyard. Happiness was to be found instead, in the acceptance of the herd. Ever so slowly, with infinite care, she’d insinuated herself into the secret life of the wild horses. Charlie may not have been at school, but she was getting an education. She learned the brumbies’ waterhole rituals. She won the forbearance of their wise, old stallion. She won the friendship of their lead mare, Jarrang’s mother. Charlie grew fluent in the language of their bodies, and one by one, the brumbies allowed her to slip onto their backs.
It was through this unique brand of liberty training, that Charlie hoped to win over the traumatised mare. No saddles, no bridles, no ropes or round yards. Like Gandalf’s Shadowfax, the Balleroo brumbies had volunteered themselves. And now, Whirlwind had volunteered herself too.”
ABOUT JENNIFER SCOULLAR:
Jennifer is a writer of environmental and rural fiction. She lives with her family on a beautiful property in the mountains, that was left to her by her father. She has always harboured a deep respect for the natural world, and a passion for horses. Her first novel, Wasp Season, was launched at the 2008 Melbourne Writer’s Festival. Her next novel, Brumby’s Run, will be published by Penguin in 2012.
“I first visited Varuna on a Professional Development Residency with Peter Bishop in 2008. There I met a wonderful group of writers. We formed our own writing group, named The Darklings. One of our group, Di Jenkins, has gone on to become Varuna’s very own news director. Another, Jewelene Barrile, has subsequently won both the Marion Eldridge and the Josephine Ulrich Prize. I have Varuna to thank for this amazing association.
I was shortlisted for the Harper Collins MS Development Award in 2009 and I was selected as a regional writer in residence for the 2009 LongLines Week. I was shortlisted for the inaugural Varuna Publisher Fellowships and this year I was a lucky winner of the Tyrone Guthrie residency in Ireland. I will spend a month at the centre in 2012.” Jennifer Scoullar
My first novel, Wasp Season (Sid Harta), was launched by Andrea Goldsmith at the 2008 Melbourne Writer’s Festival. My next novel, Brumby’s Run, will be published by Penguin in 2012.
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