I once read a folktale (or at least some watered-down summary of one) about a character who regularly helped out a poor man and his daughter. Always working hard and never complaining, they were someone the poor family of two could always depend on.
One day, the father was away from home and didn’t return for days. The girl dearly missed her father and made a promise that she would marry whoever finds and brings him back home. Because the main character loved the girl so much, they willingly set out to search for her father and succeeded in returning him home. However, once he was home, the father learned about the girl’s promise and became furious. Not wanting the two to get married, he killed the main character.
Why was the father so against the marriage? Because the main character, the one who went out their way to save him, was their horse.
Most people would probably be weirded out by such a story, especially when the horse is a regular horse and not some horse-human hybrid, but I think it’s amazing. A story can have a character that’s undeniably an animal be portrayed in a way that make them feel almost human. Writing is a powerful and wonderful thing.
So I suddenly had the thought — what if popular or well-established stories had an animal as a prominent main character? Not as like a recurring pet or anything, but as a character who is often in the main action as the other human characters? Will the story still manage to make sense? How much better would the story be?
So for this post, I will be going through some fictional works and imagining how they’ll be if one of the main characters is a horse instead. Why a horse? Well, why not? I think they deserve to be mane characters every now and then.
No, there’s nothing wrong with me. I’m just getting a kick out of this idea. So much that I’m putting this out as a second post for this week.
About three things I was absolutely positive.
First, Edward was a horse.
Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.Twilight, but if Edward Cullen was a horse
Look, the story basically writes itself!
I have no idea if Edward Cullen would be a vampire horse or just a bloodthirsty one in this rendition of Stephenie Meyer’s popular novel, but either way it would be funny.
There also isn’t really a reasonable explanation as to why a horse would be attending a human high school, but then technically a vampire doesn’t really belong there either. Well, he is apparently supposed to be very smart and his family is well-off, so maybe the school just looked the other way? Like, maybe the school administration is just like, “Yeah, he may be a horse, but he’s one of our star students so it’s okay.”
It’s not like adding another type of animal into the story wouldn’t hurt, right? I mean, the series have werewolves and they’re pretty much like wild dogs, right? And even though Bella is and remains human, her last name is Swan. Edward has been behind the animal trend all this time, so let’s give him a helping hand. Or hoof.
The Hunger Games
Katniss Eversteed volunteers to become the District 12 tribute after her sister was randomly selected. Some could say that she was being foal-ish. Others would argue that what she did is honorable. Either way, Katniss is now faced with competing in the 74th annual Hunger Games and trying to come out alive at the end.
There’s some aspects that can still work with a horse version of Katniss. She can still be a skilled huntress and can maybe get a few kills in when fighting. She can also flee from danger if need be. And most importantly, she can sing. I don’t know if horses actually can sing, but it doesn’t matter. She’s still going to sing in that one scene, regardless of how she actually sounds.
However, turning Katniss into a horse would mean that she no longer is able to use a bow and arrow, her trademark weapon. As a result, a lot of scenes from the original novel would have to be altered, but I think it might still work out.
For example, the judges would still give her an 11 for her skill and temper. However, she wouldn’t get it by shooting an arrow at the apple in the judges’ roast pig dish. No, instead she leaps an impressive height up over to where the judges are and chomps on the apple. In front of them. Like the feisty horse that she is.
If you thought I was going to get away without putting any manga or anime in, think again.
A romance between two teens with hidden sides they only show to each other outside of school. Izumi Miyamura is a gloomy loner at school, but outside of school he’s a guy with piercings, tattoos, and a kind heart. Kyoko Hor(s)i is a popular girl with good grades at school. At home, she’s a horse.
If there was anyone who wanted Hori to have a side of her that is a clear contrast with how she normally is at school (like how Miyamura’s school look is a lot different than his out-of-school look), then here you go. If there’s anything worth hiding, it’s that you’re secretly a different species.
I think I accidentally gave this series some fantasy-ish elements by making Hori someone who can assumingly switch between being human and being a horse. I don’t think there would be any moments where they could properly explain something like that either, since the series is supposed to be a slice-of-life romcom. It’ll also clash with the more grounded, realistic tone the series has, ignoring the bright, colorful hairstyles. Oh well, I guess this would be an example where changing a character into a horse would be too forced (as if all the other examples aren’t, but I digress).
Oh yeah, to maintain the sanity of general fans, this version of Horimiya will cut out that one scene in Episode 7 (or Chapter 37 in the manga).
We can even make a retelling of a fairy tale.
Cinderella, now a horse in this retelling, is still overworked and treated horribly by her (human) stepmother and stepsisters. The reason behind it? Speciesism. They don’t see a horse as an equal member of their family, let alone a family member at all. How terrible.
So when the fairy godmother gives Cinderella the opportunity to go to the ball, Cinderella is delighted. She could finally wear a dress, board a carriage, and get to somewhere without being the mode of transportation herself! Since it would be way too suspicious if a horse is at a ball where all other guests are humans, let’s have the fairy godmother’s spell also temporarily turn Cinderella into a partial human. As long as no one looks down and notice that she still has horse legs, she can easily be passed off as a fellow human.
Cinderella goes to the ball and dances with the prince, catching the attention and envy of other onlookers. Both horse (disguised as human) and prince fall in love because it really do be like that. Suddenly the clock strikes midnight and Cinderella is forced to leave the ball before the magic wears out. As she is running away, she loses one of her glass slippers.
The day after, the kingdom launches a search for the owner of the glass slipper. Whoever owns the slipper will become the prince’s bride. Of course, the glass slipper doesn’t fit anyone because it’s shaped to fit a horse hoof. When the prince arrives at Cinderella’s home, Cinderella is able to immediately claim ownership. (Her stepmother didn’t lock her up or anything because, well, she didn’t expect a horse to own a glass slipper.)
Even though Cinderella’s true identity is revealed to the prince, he still loves her and can tell she is the girl he danced with at the ball because of ~the vibes~. Cinderella and the prince get married and live happily ever after. The end.
(This is why I don’t publicly share my writing, this blog aside.)
All right, I think I’ve put out enough
cursed ideas. There are a lot of other well-known stories out there, but it’s actually hard to replace one of their main characters with a horse without making the story impossible to work. If anyone reading this can think of any other possible stories that I haven’t covered already, I’d like to hear them!