UK hostage Haines executed by ISIS inspired children's book while in captivity

A masked, black-clad militant, stands next to a man purported to be David Haines (Reuters / SITE Intel Group via Reuters TV)
David Haines, the first Briton to have been murdered by the radical jihadist group, left behind a lasting memory for his family in the form of a children’s story, which tells the tale of a father trying to return home.

The British aid worker, who was kidnapped by the so-called Islamic State militants (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in early 2013, and executed in September 2014, helped to create a children’s book with two fellow French hostages, the Telegraph reported.

The book, entitled Papa Hérisson Rentrera-t-il à la Maison? (“Will Daddy Hedgehog Ever Come Home?”), was written by Nicolas Hénin and illustrated by Pierre Torres, the French journalists kidnapped in Syria in June 2013 and released 10 months later.

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Torres and Hénin say that Haines provided the inspiration behind the book, which they said was written on “scraps of paper and card they managed to hide from their captors, despite being moved 10 times.”

The authors, who said they had no intention of providing the details of their horrible plight in the pages of a children’s book, wished to “create poetry from the obscene,” according to Hénin, whose five-year old daughter is almost the same age as Haines’ youngest girl, Athea.

“We had dreamed together about our life after the ordeal and the meeting of our two daughters,” he told the British newspaper.

“Even if he didn’t write this book, his spirit is in this work. His spark is there.”

The book provides a bit of philosophy on the part of the authors, who attempted to show “one must always be careful of judging who is good and who is evil. Be careful of the image that people project of each other. That was David’s point of view, too. He was very subtle psychologically.”

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Hénin and Torres spent many months imprisoned alongside other kidnapped foreigners who have since suffered the same tragic fate as Haines, including taxi driver Alan Henning, American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid worker Peter Kassig. Freelance journalist John Cantlie remains in captivity.

Torres said his time in captivity taught him the lesson: “It is more painful for hostage’s family or friends than the hostage himself.”

The book by the two French journalists will be published on March 11 in France.