Between ancient rolling chalk hills the age-old river flows
Where orange and blue cloaked kingfisher over chalk stream feeds.
Water voles hunt and the family of an otter grows.
White-petalled water crowfoot among fresh water reeds
And in clear running brooks the trout, crayfish and grayling swim.
Horace is named after the ancient Roman poet Horace, who provides the River Houses with our motto: “Hoc erat in votis” — This was ever my wish. Ancient Horace’s simple rural wish was for A handsome house to lodge a friend, / A river at my garden’s end.
Our Horace is a North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), not one of those salty sea otters. His relatives live in rivers and streams all across the continent, so you might just encounter one of them in your own homeschool travels.
Horace likes to be outdoors and fall is his favorite season.
And of course he loves rivers.
Horace is quite an intellectual and literary otter.
And he’s also a scientific adventurer — he’s even visited the far side of the moon!
And needless to say, he loves books.
You can get your very own likeness of Horace online from Amazon.com (amzn.to/2MecbqT) and take him along with you on all your homeschool adventures. If you do, take pictures!
We like to imagine a not-so-distant future when Horace will appear from sea to shining sea and in all corners of the earth — the world’s most adventurous otter. 😊
❡ Halcyon days: Horace’s riverside friend is Cheryl the Kingfisher, who has not yet taken on material form. Cheryl is an American Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon), and she will eventually join Horace on his adventures. Between the two of them they’ll have the water, land, and air all covered. 😊