A Gift from Miss Missy’s School

Dear Children and Their Grownups,

Two of my people have created a book just for you—readers who long for a story of a different sort. In our tale there are no dragons for heroes to slay, or worlds for wizards to save. It’s simply the story of how my pack and I came to realize we needed a school for all the animals on our farm who wanted to learn and teach from those great books of knowledge passed down to us through… Oh, sorry! Marica says I run on sometimes. Back to our story.

Fairy-tales

The Water-babies: A Fairy Tale for Land-babies by Reverend Charles Kingsley, first published in 1868. It’s the story of a little boy named Tom who lived in middle of the 1800s. Tom is a chimney sweep–he crawls into the chimneys of rich peoples’ houses to clean out the soot. It’s a dirty job, and he is always tired and hungry. One day

Animal Stories

Now, as you know, most dogs don’t usually wear reading glasses and Homburg hats unless their people dress them up (as Beatrix Potter did her pets). Most animals don’t write in shorthand like Missy, or read British detective stories as Rocky likes to do. And most animals don’t talk in real life! To give human characteristics to nonhuman creatures and things is to anthropomorphize them.