“Rescue” | A Gift from Chapter I of Miss Missy’s School
February 2023 update: Time to run the free family reading gifts series! Ten excerpts from chapters in Miss Missy’s School to read or download. Click to see the complete list of all gifts, with links to posts and PDFs. Valentines Day is coming! Give the gift of Miss Missy’s School!
Miss Missy’s School Book I: A Pack of Farm Dogs Starts a School by Marica Bernstein.
Illustrated by Caroline Cooper. Old Schoolhouse Road Publishing.
“Readers become learners with Bernstein’s unique inclusion of asides for learning history, philosophy, and vocabulary, among other things. … Overall a very fun book.” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Dear Readers, Writers, and Their Grownups,
Yesterday we shared the news that Miss Missy’s School is going to be giving you free gifts from now until Christmas. And we showed you the letter Missy wrote for the back of the book blurb. From now on, our gifts to you will be sneak-peeks of chapters from Miss Missy’s School: A Pack of Farm Dogs Starts a School. Of course, we can’t tell you the whole story! But we can share just enough so that you can get to know Missy’s and her lovable pack–including Tiger the Cat–and see where the story is going.
All the sneak-peeks will have links to a downloadable pdf file, so if you don’t want to look at a screen during family reading time, you can print the chapter excerpts.
Let’s get started! The link to the pdf, and a little more for Grownups, are after the story.
Please feel free to tell us what you think in the Comments. And don’t forget to share with your friends! Thanks.
THE STORM HAD PASSED but the wind was still howling ferociously when Marica opened the door to let Rocky and Missy out for their evening patrol around Farther Along Farm.
“RUFF!! RUFF!! RUFF!! RRRUUUUUUFFF!!” Rocky had found something amiss in the front yard.
“What is it? What is it, Dear Friend? Ruff!” Missy barked her best and deepest dog bark.
“RRRRRRRRRuff!” growled Rocky.
“Who goes there? Show your face! Name yourself,” ordered Missy.
“It’s j-j-jest me and m-m-my little one. P-p-please don’t hurt us.”
“RUFF!” shouted Rocky
“Show your face,” commanded Missy.
At that, out from the shadows and into the light from high atop the pole stepped a poor scrawny little fox hound, shaking and crouching over her pup. She begged, “Please, please. C-c-can me and my son crawl under your porch? Little Tommy is so wet and I’m afraid he’ll c-c-catch his death if I cain’t get him outta the wind,” she shivered and chattered. “J-j-jest for the night. Won’t ask for nothin’ more. B-b-be on our way first thing. Please, please?”
“Oh my! Good Lord! Rocky! Go get Marica. Quick!”
“Heavens! My poor dear!” Missy moved closer to the stranger and began to gently lick her face.
“Ruff!” Rocky returned in short order.
“What in the world is going on out here? What’s all the… Oh my!” gasped Marica.
“Oh Marica! We must do something,” Missy implored, and turning to the stranger said, “Oh no, poor dear. Don’t run away. Marica won’t hurt you.”
“Okay, Missy. No time to waste,” Marica took control of the situation. “Missy, you take the poor thing into the shed. Rocky, please carry that little fellow, he’s too weak to make it another step. I’ll get things for a pallet and some food and water and meet you back there.”
When Marica had turned and hurried away, Missy said, “Now don’t you worry, dear. Everything will be all right… err…. What did you say your name was?”
“Don’t have no p-p-proper name, Miss,” the little dog shivered. “Some nice folk called me ‘Girl’. Some not so nice called me names I wish my poor Little Tommy hadn’t a heard.”
“Well, we will get to that in good time. Come now. Let’s get you and your son settled.”
So off they went, Missy slowly leading the way, as she feared Little Tommy’s Mother didn’t have too many steps left in her, either. Rocky followed the nameless young mother, gently carrying Little Tommy between his powerful jaws as only a vicious pit bull can.
Just as the little pack approached the shed, a screech, or rather a terrible “MErrOW” scared them all to pieces.
“RUFFFF!” Missy shouted out in her best canine voice.
“RRRUUUUUUFFF!!” warned Rocky, dropping poor Little Tommy onto the wet grass.
Even Little Tommy’s nameless mother mustered the energy to growl.
“Tiger! What in blue blazes are you doing?” Missy asked.
“Ruff,” Rocky said in relief at seeing Tiger the Cat.
“Good grief, Tiger, you scared us half to death!” Missy scolded.
“Parrrdon me, Missy. I had no idea it was you. Rrrocky usually signals your arrival around this side of the house. I am sorrry,” purred Tiger.
“Well, as you can see,” Missy said pointing at Rocky who was once again gently picking up Little Tommy, “Rocky’s mouth was full. But come along! There’s no time to spare. We must get our guests into the warmth of the shed.”
And so they trundled into the shed where Marica had already tucked a soft pallet of old blankets between bags of potting soil, filled a bowl with fresh water, and placed a handful of kibble on the floor.
Mother and son lapped up the clean fresh water and gobbled up the food (Little Tommy’s Mother let her son have most) while Marica dried them with an old towel, and then they both collapsed in a heap on the soft pallet.
“Marica?” Missy asked softly as they were standing at the back porch door a bit later.
“Did you give them enough food? It’s all gone! They ate every last bite. They are starving, Marica! Shouldn’t they have more food?” Missy asked with concern.
“They are starving, Missy. Good Lord only knows when their last decent meal was— if ever they’ve had one. But I’m afraid if I give them more than a little at a time it will make them sick and wouldn’t do them any good at all. Better to ease them into it— like we did with Tiger when he found us.”
“Oh yes. Good thinking! Now. What’s to be done? Do you think they’re all right? That Little Tommy is so weak. Oh my,” Missy fretted. “They will be all right, won’t they?”
This little bit is taken from a longer preview (pdf). I know some families like to start a book at the beginning. Our grandson begins with the title page! This preview includes the front matter and complete first three chapters. Because the chapters are numbered using Roman numerals, in addition to the standard material, the front matter also includes a “Guide to Roman Numerals.”