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Michael Morpurgo: Small miracle led to War Horse

12th July 2010

Children's author Michael Morpurgo has revealed how an encounter on a children's farm in Devon led him to write War Horse.

Writing in the Observer, Morpurgo explained that he helped to establish the Farms for City Children charity in the 1970s to give inner-city pupils the enriching experience of working on a farm.

The author added that this enhanced his writing from the very start, as it allowed him to gain new insights into the lives of children, but one specific encounter pushed him to create his finest work.

A 'nervous, withdrawn' boy attending the farm had not spoken to any of his teachers or classmates for two years because of his stammer, but was fond of interacting with the animals.

'I came into the yard that evening to see the light on over the stable, with our horse Hebe standing there, and this same boy in his slippers looking up into her eye and talking 19 to the dozen about his day on the farm,' Morpurgo wrote.

He explained that witnessing this 'small miracle' gave him the confidence to write War Horse - an idea which he originally dismissed as being unworkable.

Last month, it was confirmed that the film adaptation of War Horse, which is being directed by Steven Spielberg, will star Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson and David Thewlis.

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