I read My Friend Flicka for the first time when I was about ten (1957), during my horse period. I recently reread it, finding these passages. It wasn’t just the landscape that drew me, but the portrait of a lonely, dreamy child just like me:
. . . on the range you call it greengrass, all in one word . . . it came first like just a tinge of pale green on the southern and eastern slopes . . . and soon it was like green velvet, and then, at last, in late June, like this. A sea of rippling grass.
When Ken left the kitchen the alarm clock on the wall shelf beside the spice closet pointed to twenty minutes to nine. He wondered if he should time himself right from then or from the moment he went into his room., or from when he set his books on the table. This was a very important point, but as he could not decide, he went upstairs as slowly as he could, just in case it was all part of the hour.
He paused on the landing in front of the picture of the duck. If he stood there looking at the duck picture he could get into another world. He knew how to do it. To get into another world you had to make yourself the same size, in your mind.
When he put his face down to the little pools in the stream and stayed there a long time, pretending that he was one of the little crabs that scuttled from rock to rock, or a baby trout smaller than a minnow, pretty soon he was right in that world under the water and could almost know why they moved about and went up so seriously to meet each other, talked a moment, then hurried away.
It was one of the most exciting things, to get into another world than your own regular world, especially at a time when the regular world or the things you had to do in it bored you.
— Mary O’Hara, My Friend Flicka