Mr Ed the Horse

January 6, 2013

Readers and Writers

On this show we look at readers and writers, comically and seriously, with guest host John Lithgow.

Most Americans are familiar with “Mr Ed,” the talking horse from the popular 1960s sitcom. But Ed actually got his start in stories by the American author Walter R. Brooks, who also wrote the “Freddy the Pig” stories.

The Mr. Ed stories were first published in the 1930s and 1940s and would poke fun at suburban life. The sage and salty horse is owned by long-suffering Wilbur Pope. In “Ed Has His Mind Improved,” Wilbur teaches his horse to read, but Ed’s taste in literature proves to be embarrassingly low, with hilarious consequences. The reader is Broadway star Tony Roberts.

The late Ray Bradbury is best known for his fantasy work, such as the novels Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. But “Exchange” is a gentle, realistic tale of a late-night encounter between an overworked librarian and a lonely soldier, savoring, almost viscerally, his first contact with books in many years. The reader is SHORTS regular Rochelle Oliver.

The program concludes with a vivid short by that writer’s writer, Jorge Luis Borges. “Dream Tigers” expresses the struggle to realize imaginative visions—in this case, the form of a tiger. The reader is our late host and founder, Isaiah Sheffer. LISTEN TO THE SHOW

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