THE FIRST HOHO
If you’ve read The Rocking Horse, you know who the original HoHo is. Hand-crafted by a loving uncle, the toy rocking horse plays a prominent role in the book, especially when the wooden toy often starts rocking without assistance.
The image on the book cover represents HoHo as he was when two-year-old Jenny Preston received him from her uncle. But he’s aged after the twenty-two years Jenny kept him, much like the other HoHo who now sits in my office.
THE OTHER HOHO
The other HoHo was also hand-crafted, this time by my husband, and he often traveled with me to book signings and other author events to represent the real HoHo.
This second little guy has worked hard and is now quite scruffy from getting packed and unpacked during our travels. I kind of like him that way because I think he better represents how Jenny’s HoHo looked after some of the trauma he had survived.
Here is one example.
The Rocking Horse – page 213
She had been very young—maybe five or six years old. Katherine had taken HoHo away from her and thrown “that dirty little toy” out. She had cried and thrown such a fit that Katherine had Maude dig through the trash and find HoHo again. She had almost forgotten that memory.
At one time, this other HoHo sat on a sofa table in our living room. I caught my daughter staring at him while visiting us one weekend. She had read about HoHo in the book, and I thought she was admiring the craftsmanship of the second toy rocking horse when she said, “If that thing starts rocking on his own – I’m out of here!”
Maybe she was thinking of the following scene from the book.
The Rocking Horse – page 42
She walked over to the dresser and placed HoHo there. As she turned back to her suitcase for a clean white shirt, gooseflesh suddenly crawled up her arms. She swung back toward the dresser and stared at HoHo. He was rocking violently on the dresser. What on earth? As she timidly reached for the toy, it stopped rocking as abruptly as it had started.
Or perhaps she was thinking of the time the other HoHo was featured in that same scene in the following video.