That’s easy for me to do since I never really grew up. Being a teacher of special needs preschoolers during the 1980s contributed to my forever young attitude. I enjoyed that job. It was such a thrill to introduce the children to new ideas and see the little wheels churning inside their heads.
One instance I clearly remember had to do with apples. Our school sat on a hill overlooking the route of Hendersonville’s Apple Parade. To prepare the kids for the afternoon festivities, we spent the morning munching on and talking about the tasty treat.
One little guy, Jonathan, was totally mesmerized as he studied his apple, turning it over to look at the top and bottom and outlining the rounded shape with his finger.
When I asked the children to draw a picture, Jonathan took his time, looking carefully at the apple while drawing the outline. When completed, his work of art actually looked like an apple, including the stem. Well, to Jonathan and me, it did. Even though it was a four-year-old’s interpretation, the shape and color matched close enough for me to tell he had thought long and hard to get it just right.
The most rewarding part of being their teacher was watching the children’s faces light up during storytime. If you’ve read my Inspiring Children One Book at a Time blog posts here on Sassy Scribblers, you know the importance I place on passing on the joy of reading to youngsters. I felt just as strongly about it forty years ago as I do now. So, needless to say, we spent a lot of time reading.
It didn’t stop there, though. We also wrote our own books. As a group, we’d make up a story; then, the kids illustrated our book. I used their pictures as the background for the text. Believe me, no one else ever understood or appreciated our literary works, but we did. And that’s what counts.
After Bob and I married, we moved to another state and started our aviation education business. However, I never forgot my kids and the fun we had reading and telling stories. In the back of my mind, I told myself I’d have a chance to do it again.
That chance arrived when medical issues forced us to find other ways to make a living. I penned the five stories that would later become the first book in the Patchwork Dog and Calico Cat series on a yellow legal pad while Bob spent the day teaching ground schools.
It was surprisingly easy to slip back into thinking like a kid. My memories traveled back in time to my classroom of preschoolers. I imagined myself sitting in our book corner reading to them, and I tried to write what I thought they’d like.
Of course, the Patchy and Calico stories evolved into longer, more detailed adventures than the simple five or six-sentence books the kids and I wrote all those years ago. However, that’s what launched my attempts at writing. Sometimes I wonder if there’d be any Patchy and Calico books if I hadn’t been a teacher and gained all that experience in my younger life. I guess we’ll never know.
When they arrived at the field, Patchy and Calico hid behind some tall bushes and watched as the airplane came in for a landing.
“Look at that, Calico, the airplane is falling out of the air. Look out, Mr. Wilson!” howled Patchwork Dog.
As the two friends debated whether or not to run away, the airplane lifted its nose, the wheels gently touched the ground, and the airplane rolled to a stop next to a large building.
They watched as Mr. Wilson climbed out of the airplane.
“He’s going into that big building. Look, he left the door open on the airplane.”
“You’re not going over there, Patchy. No way.”
“Just a quick look, Calico. I want to see the inside of the airplane. I promise I’ll come right back.”
Off ran the curious dog before Calico could say anything more.
When Patchwork Dog got close to the airplane, he walked very slowly and carefully. He hid behind one of the wheels and looked around.
Not hearing anything or seeing anybody, he quietly crept over to the open door and peeked inside.
“Wow, there’s a lot of strange buttons, knobs, and pedals in there. I wonder what they’re all for?”
He stretched his paw as far as he could but couldn’t quite reach anything.
“Maybe if I jump up and down.”
The bouncing dog still couldn’t touch anything. He jumped a little higher and higher and higher.
BAM! CRASH!! THUMP!
Patchwork Dog jumped too high, bumped his head, and tumbled down onto the ground.
A voice sounded behind him, “Who’s messing with my airplane?”
Pick up your copy of the book to see what Mr. Wilson does with the sneaky dog.
Print – https://www.amazon.com/Patchwork-Dog-Calico-Greta-Burroughs/dp/1467989460/
Kindle - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006B9RSIQ/
Universal - http://viewbook.at/patchyandcalicocat1
Amazon Author Page - https://www.amazon.com/Greta-Burroughs/e/B003N3F5AQ