Although historians do not corroborate the tradition, Hungarian legend claims the Huns as the ancestors of its people. Yet, isn’t every legend based, even remotely on some fact? Well, Kate Seredy thought so when she wrote The White Stag, a story of the Huns struggle to find a homeland.
Living in a barren plain of Asia, the tribe of Might Hunter, Nimrod decides to follow a beautiful white stag towards the West. Nimrod’s sons, Hunor and Magyar, lead the way. Eventually the tribe splits. The peaceful descendants of Magyar settle down on unclaimed land. The descendants of Hunor, however, continue on, and it is Hunor’s grandson, Attila, who successfully brings them through the mountains into Europe.
Seredy’s book is filled with the awe of the supernatural so typical of ancient cultures. Her illustrations capture the strength and daring of a people who faced great challenges and took for granted that life would not always be easy. While The White Stag may be only a legend, Seredy’s book gives a human face to the barbarians known as the Huns.
Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher living in Ridgewood, NJ.