I had a problem now – I had to ride the pony. I was frightened – although I was big for my age I was still under nine years old. Bob took the saddle on the pony, then helped me into it and I grabbed the front of the saddle and held on. Then Bob put the saddle on his horse and trotted it around in a circle to show me how to rise to a trot. I got the idea of this, but not before I had fallen off several times, to the amusement of Uncle, Aunt, Grandma and the other kids.
Whilst his introduction to a working life may have seemed humorous to those looking on, Albert Facey’s experience being sent away to work at the age of nine was just one episode in a an often sad and frightening childhood. His father had died soon after his birth and his mother had abandoned her children to their grandmother’s care. From the events which brought the Facey family to Western Australia, through his childhood years and onto adulthood, Facey shares his tale in a down to earth manner.
Since it was first published in 1981, A Fortunate Life has captivated readers of all ages. Now released in condensed form as part of Penguin’s new Australian Children’s Classics series, the story is accessible to junior readers, offering them an insight to life in rural Western Australia in the early years of the twentieth century.
The hardcover format with embellished cover makes this a delightful collector’s edition.
A Fortunate Life , by A. B. Facey
Available from good bookstores or here .