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Clarence Hawkes

Clarence Hawkes (1869 - 1954) was blinded at the age of 13 after a hunting accident; he had earlier had part of one leg amputated. He studied at the Perkins Institute in Boston, where he was a contemporary of Helen Keller. After trying several different ways of earning a living, he settled on poetry and lecturing. This was an uphill struggle, but he did eventually succeed in having a poem (How Massa Linkum Came) published by the Springfield Republican. He married Bessie Bell in 1899. She was vital to his work; after a story about their collie was published, Hawkes began to write stories about the countryside he remembered, using Bessie to read him information on the animals and areas he wanted to research. Time magazine compared him to Kipling, saying: “For imparting personality to his animal characters, he is another Kipling, though without that writer's fanciful propensity for endowing beasts with unscientific abilities”.


He wrote five horse books, and many other animal titles.


Finding the books: all of the books are reasonably easy to find, and, unless you want a pristine first edition, generally reasonably priced.

Links and sources
Terri A. Wear: Horse Stories, an Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, 1987
Biographical information, Time
James A Freeman: Clarence Hawkes: American’s Blind Naturalist and the World He lived In (White River Press, 2009)

Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau, Alison and Lisa Catz for all their help with this section.


Roany, the Horse Who Smelled Smoke

Milton Bradley, Springfield, Mass, 1935, 251 pp, illus Griswold Tyng



“Hal is given a roan colt for his 14th birthday, and in their years together, they serve in Cuba
in the war, and as forest rangers in Montana after the National Forest Service program is started.”


Bibliography - horse books only

Dapples of the Circus: the Story of a Shetland Pony
and a Boy

Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, Boston, 1923, 230 pp,
illus L J Bridgman

“The story opens on the island of Shetland and follows the
pony, Dapples, through his later career with the Great
American Circus and the many adventures that come to
him and his devoted young master, "Freckles." 


Pal o’mine, King of the Turf

Milton Bradley, Springfield, Mass,1925, 228 pp, illus Charles Livingston Bull



“Halsey is given the chestnut colt Pal o’mine for bravely rescuing his cousin Peggy and the
horse proves himself over the years on the racetrack and as a military horse in the Civil War.”


Patches, a Wyoming Cow Pony

Milton Bradley, Springfield, Mass, 1928, 268 pp, illus Griswold Tyng



“Larry is taught to ride at his uncle’s ranch and is given the pinto Patches to be his mount
in cattle roundups, polo matches and horse races.”

Piebald, King of the Bronchos
George W Jacobs & Co, Philadelphia, 1912, 287 pp, illus Charles Copeland

Reprinted several times. The edition pictured dates from 1923.