Friday, August 8, 2008

The Rusty, Trusty Tractor

Have you seen The Rusty, Trusty Tractor, by Joy Cowley? What a hoot! Daniel asked me to read it three times in a row this morning. And ya know what? It's so hilarious I didn't mind.

An old farmer doesn't want to part with his beloved tractor - his rusty, trusty friend. A local tractor salesman comes around, putting the beloved tractor down and telling him there's no way it will make it through the season. What a heartwarming story! The language chosen is so funny. Have a listen:

When Mr. Hill saw Granpappy's tractor, he laughed fit to bust his britches. "Woo-oo!" He cried, slapping his knees. "You call that a tractor?"

Granpappy, after being asked to come look at new tractors: "I don't know, Mr. Hill. Me and this trusty tractor been together fifty years, ever since my old plow horse died. We know each other real good. I'm not hankering to go looking at shiny new tractors."

Granpappy goes anyway to see the new tractors, to please his grandson, Micah. He isn't impressed, and Mr. Hill bets him jelly donuts that the old tractor won't make it through the season. Well, the rusty, trusty tractor friend does make it through the season, and Mr. Hill shows up on a rainy night, "as wet as a new-caught catfish and carrying a box of jelly donuts."

Mr. Hill: "I hereby declare you the winner, though I don't know how you did it with that antique bucket of rust. Wang-a-dang, sir! You got more good luck than a hound dog in a butcher's shop."

Upon leaving their farm, Mr. Hill's truck gets stuck in the mud, and Granpappy and Micah help him out, with the help of the rusty, trusty tractor.

This little sampling doesn't do it justice. You'll just have to check it out at your local library. You'll be delighted, as will your children. Each time I got to the end of the story, Daniel looked disappointed, clearly wanting it to go on and on. I love it when that happens to my children! Books are like magic, carrying them off to places they can't imagine ever wanting to leave.

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