This exciting, award-winning, ground breaking, all-age story has helped to stimulate interest in natural habitat zoos, endangered species, Buddhism, prehistoric cave paintings, ways to curb juvenile crime, respect for nature and animals, and U.S. Congress' law-making. Set in the nation's capital, the book makes excursions into Central Asia and pre-historic Europe. First published by Dodd, Mead, 1963.
Jebby Andrews, a transplanted junior high student, tries to re-connect with his rural Shenandoah County, Virginia roots by becoming friends with the lonely Mongolian wild horse at the close-by National Zoo. An endangered species (Equus przewalski) this ancient breed has remained unrideable since days of the prehistoric cave paintings at Lascaux, France. Jebby wants to liberate the mare from her barren paddock and also ride her despite warnings from a wise Tibetan lama and kilted Scottish Central Asian explorer-ecologist who fear for the boy, who is already being harassed by a gang of roaming boys.
Jebby continues to seek his twin goals, leading to exciting midnight adventures at the Zoo and Washington's famed Rock Creek Park. This involves a U.S. senator, his young daughter, a Mongolian yurt, a Bactrian camel, redemption of the gang-leader and Jebby's fate as a bronco buster.
This fast-paced, well-researched prophetic novel has a timeless, close-to-nature quality. It has brought enthusiastic response from students of all ages. Its author was a founder of the Friends of the National Zoo and a well known nature and animal protection writer.