Thursday, 31 January 2013

'Til the Cows Come Home

So I've decided to try and flex a different set of creative muscles and am dipping my toe in various ponds in the hope that one connection somewhere will spark a lead to another, and another.

At the tail end of last year I was inspired to write the text for a children's picture book, Polly The Jumping Cow, based on the quirky herd of Red Poll Cows that roam Hatfield Forest. Here's a little excerpt:

Polly was born one starry night under the old Hornbeam tree. Her mother was a Red Poll, her father was a Red Poll. Polly was a Red Poll too.

In those first days she wobbled around the forest on her unsteady legs, following the herd to the best grazing spots, over the plains and under the trees, by the lake and the coppice. One day, her head bent low in the sweet grass, she heard some children singing,

“The little dog laughed to see such fun, and the cow jumped over the moon.” They danced under the old oak, skipping round the trunk with a small dog yapping at their heels.

That night, as Polly snuggled up to her mother and looked up at the stars and the summer moon hanging in the sky, she began to wonder. She whispered, “Can cows jump?” Her mother shook her head and rolled over,

“Cow’s can’t jump Polly”

But the next day, Polly tried. She jumped over little muddy puddles, and shouted, “I jumped over a puddle mum!” but her mother kept chewing the grass,
“Cow’s can’t jump Polly”

These curious cows could often be found sabotaging our bug hunts having squeezed their way through previously impenetrable fencing. They were always turning up somewhere surprising, sticking their heads through the office window and lowing loudly. One did jump over the style one day and was off up the road.

I need an illustrator in pen and ink or watercolour, someone who can catch the cows soft shapes and the beauty of the forest, but also the humour and cheekiness of this breed. If you qualify - get in touch!

I've been writing some short stories too, snapshots, scenes, little islands of prose. Website content is currently being composed and should go live next month.

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