Thursday, December 15, 2011

PATSY | Five-year-old girl finds dog

A puppy follows Patsy home.
Patsy is a girl who rolls with the punches. She always wanted a puppy but her mother thinks Patsy is too young, even though she is "almost five years old now".

But one day a puppy follows her home. Patsy gives him something to eat. Her mother makes it crystal clear that the puppy belongs to someone else and must be returned. The mailman recognizes the puppy: "It belongs to Mrs. Murphy in the pink cottage on the hill." So Patsy must return the puppy immediately.

What an assignment! Patsy takes the long way round and gets into all kinds of adventures on the way, but never once gets discouraged or loses track of the puppy. This is a story about adopting and taking responsibility for a pet.

Patsy feeds the pup and wants to keep him.
It's not easy. The puppy runs around trees, wrapping the leash around the trunks. He runs into the street, provoking angry comments from a driver. He runs into a drainpipe. He chases a kitten and ends up inside a school room. He eats the teacher's lunch, so Patsy gives the teacher her own sandwich. Patsy and the pup finally get to the hill where Mrs. Murphy lives, but the puppy chases a rabbit into a deep wood. They were lost.

There is a noise. Is it a bear?  This is the low point of Patsy's tale... But a hunter rescues them and takes them out of the woods to within sight of Mrs. Murphy's house. The puppy is not eager to return. Patsy returns the pup.

 Mrs. Murphy's response is unexpected: "Sure and I'd hoped I'd never set eyes on him again. That pup's nothing but a botheration."

Patsy is agog. "You mean you don't LOVE him?" Mrs. Murphy answers: "Wasn't I glad to get rid of him?" Mrs. Murphy gives Patsy the pup and a cookie to take with her. Patsy and the pup dance their way home, as in the cover picture below. When her mother hears about Patsy's adventures and Mrs. Murphy's response, she decides to let Patsy keep the pup, whom Patsy calls Honey. "You seem to have taken care of him quite well," says Patsy's mother. "I think you deserve to keep him." Patsy and Honey then have a nice long nap.

Clickable cover on Amazon site.
The character of Patsy is based on Hilda van Stockum's daughter Elisabeth at about five years old - the dedication is to "Elisabeth and Trusty", the latter being the Marlins' Montreal dog, delivered as a puppy to Elisabeth in a pail. In a preface to the 2009 edition, Elisabeth Marlin writes: "This is a story that parents and children from two to six will enjoy reading together, over and over again." A book now for Elisabeth's growing number of grandchildren!

The book was discussed in an interview on “Sullivan’s Travels”, a talk show on LTV in East Hampton, NY for 2012 airing.

How to Order Patsy and the Pup.  Available from Amazon for $9.95 (free shipping for orders above $25 to a single U.S. address). Preview (“LOOK INSIDE”) available on the Amazon website.

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