Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A favorite children's book

Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm

As we were eating dinner tonight, a terrible realization came upon us. Our two youngest have no recollection of reading Maple Hill Farm together. They don't remember Eggnog the cat (she has a sweet nature, but she throws up a lot) or Willow whose father was Potato Who Disappeared. They don't recall the horses named Ichabod and Ibn Rafferty, even though we ended up with a bouncy horse we named Ibn Rafferty when my oldest was four. So, I grabbed the book and read as we finished our dinner. Everyone came closer, wanting to see the pictures, giggling at the descriptions of the "perfect" geese (well, perfect except the dozens of things that aren't perfect about them), the antics of the kid goats, and a sheep named Whiney. The gentle writing is a pleasure.

"In a quiet corner of an overgrown field, where the snow lies deepest and the oak trees hold their leaves all winter, a beloved hound, named John, lies buried. Three cats are buried here - Webster, the first Siamese, a dear, dirty white cat named Crook, who stole from the table, and Fat Boy who looked like Max.

In this quiet corner, the best wild flowers grow, and the first peepers are heard in the spring, even before the snow melts. Here, owls call from the treetops in the early morning, and the irreverent crows hold their noisy conventions. Here, the mother deer has her fawn, and the migrating geese come to rest. It is here that the fox is safe from the hunters.

The animals that were....
the animals that are....
and the animals that will be....
bring joy, laughter, and life to the lives of the people who live in a house that needs painting, at the end of a road full of holes. Maple Hill Farm."

HIghly recommended.

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