This is an enchanting book of three chronicles taking place at the turn of the 20th Century on the humble farm of “Pleasant Grove.” Annie, the red-haired Golden Retriever, and her best friend, Benny the Mouse, attempt to maintain peace and harmony on their beloved farm with the help of their fellow critter friends. There is danger, romance, jealousy, betrayal, scandal and redemption to be found in each fascinating tale, as well as an occasional critter-napping or two. Written in verse, this book has an almost “Seussish” style and challenges the young reader with more advanced vocabulary than they may be accustomed to. Accordingly, the author has designed an accompanying glossary to aid in the young reader’s understanding of the text. This book is an excellent tool for educational purposes, going beyond the customary objective of mere reading entertainment. It is a must for any child 9 to 13 years because it inspires old-fashioned ideals while relating to adolescents on a more current and familiar level.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)|
Read an Excerpt
“What is it, pray tell? Its hat is a shell, but it looks like a stone... how worrisome!” Ann moaned.
Benny and Annie inspected their find. Annie growled in frustration. Benny wondered and pined:
“Where was it last night when the sun had gone out, when I stood on this spot and I let out a shout? I bid all at The Grove a most calm, restful sleep, then retired to my hole, where I ne’re made a peep.
There was nothing this odd looming there by my side. For, I may be a mouse, but I’m surely not blind. It’s much higher than me—higher up from the ground—and much greener and sheener than my mousey brown. Though late was the hour, my sight was still keen. Only cats are so blind to such strange-looking things.”
Now, Annie was guardian over all the domain, as most Golden Retrievers are. So, needless to say, this was quite the dilemma, inspiring in Annie a great deal suspicion.
The debate would trudge on, on into the morn;
They just had to know, lest linger forlorn;
They just had to know, or perhaps they would bust!
They just had to know it was something to trust.
T’was nothing like they’d ever seen on the farm. Just where did it hail from, and did it mean harm?
“It must have been born of the ground,” Ann concluded, “and shimmied and shook off the dirt it deluded. That’s it! It’s a stone which once lived in the earth, and, with all the commotion and merry and mirth that we at The Grove do partake of each day, it rose up reprieved from its dank, soily grave.”
“That doesn’t make sense,” said Benny the Wise (which Annie once called him, now others despise. See, Benny is one of the wittiest of sorts; quite logical is he, but he laughs with a snort! So, those at The Grove find it too hard to buy that Benny the Mouse should be Benny the Wise). “A miracle could only achieve such a goal, of which I’m a skeptic,” said Benny so droll.
Just then, something happened that stirred Ben’s attention. He stood there amazed at his best friend’s intention.
“Don’t touch it!” warned Benny, as Annie reached out. Too late: Annie’s paw was ahead of her snout. She stroked it, then sniffed it, then noticed with glee:
“It’s warm like my belly, but hollow like a tree.”
At the end of the path, just by the old well, was the mystery of mysteries, on which both would dwell.
“Let’s leave it and ponder this quagmire a while, and, when we return, we’ll have come through the trial. Perhaps a new clue will enlighten our view,” said Annie, who hoped that the former was true.
So, they left their enigma—that thing they’d discovered—and went ‘bout their business as usual:
There were cats to chase and bones to bury and trees to climb and cheese to carry back to the cottage made firmly with stone—the cottage that Papa built.
Then, after lunch, it was time to explore that thing—the thing they couldn’t ignore. It haunted their minds, for, here at The Grove, none goes unnoticed or un-itemized. See, it was their duty—their fair, solemn duty—and they took their job ever so seriously. So, they mustered their senses and, with apprehenses, embarked on their venture most vigorously.
They treaded the path of cobblestone to the gate where the old well lives, where they left their object of interest... where said object now no longer is!
“Oh, no!” Annie groaned. “We left it alone and now look what has happened in kind! Someone stole our discovery! Our recent recovery was snatched while we luncheoned inside.”
“But wait!” Benny wailed, as he noticed a trail—a set of tracks made in the dirt. There was one, there was two, there was three sets of footsteps; then four, there was five, and they followed in stride.
At the end of the trail, they were yards from the well—maybe two or three hundred long yards from the well—and there sat the riddle... the stone... the “whatever.”
“It’s magic!” Annie claimed, “—an enchanted ‘whatever’!”
“Enchanted, my eye!” said Benny the Wise. “Though I agree it is a ‘whatever.’ Whatever it is, it is what it is, and there’s no relief here for the clever. Just how did it move from there to here, to here from there, I wonder?”
“Magic!” said Ann.
“My eye!” said Ben. “There’s a good explanation awaitin’. Perhaps it was picked up and moved.”
“By who?” Annie cried. “By who?”
“Not Papa, that’s certain. He’s in the barn workin’ and has been since dawn came a’callin’,” said Ben. “We may go insane, but the question remains: Pray, what’s this bedaffling ‘whatever’?”
“I have an idea: Let’s take it to Daisy and Pierpont and Gertrude and Owen,” said Ann. “They’ll name what it is—whatever it is—and the weary can rest in their knowing.”
So, Benny the Wise agreed.