At about 1948 a library came to Coleridge, Nebraska. I remember visiting it and checking out large children’s books. It was a treat to go to that store that had become a place of books. I knew what a library was and how to use it.
When we moved to Fort Collins, CO, we lived at 307 Matthews Street, just catty-corner from the city park with Library, Museum and playground. At our back, just across the alley, was Remington Elementary School, the oldest school in town. In 1950 I started fourth grade there.
But immediately upon arriving in Fort Collins I was introduced to the children’s library. In the back corner of the children’s library, which was in the basement of the library, were shelves and shelves of Burgess Books about animals.
I gobbled these books up, one after the other. Thornton Burgess, a conservationist and children’s author in 1910-65 had written 150 books and 15,000 short stories for his newspaper column, Bedtime Stories.
1940 Bobby Coon’s Mistake
1942 Little Chuck’s Adventure
1944 Why Peter Rabbit’s Ears Are Long and Three Other Stories
Everyday throughout the summer I would go to the Children’s library, take out three of the small Burgess Books, take the home and devour them.
Paddy moves into the Green Forest, and Sammy Jay starts to complain he is cutting down the trees, but Sammy falls into the water and learns that this did not work out very well. After that Old Man Coyote finds out Paddy is in the Green Forest, and starts to hunt for him, though for three days Paddy outsmarts him. But one day he almost catches Paddy and he would have were it not for Sammy Jay telling Paddy to get into the water. After that Paddy and Sammy become best friends.
I think I needed a refuge after my fathers death and our move to Colorado.
And besides, Fort Collins still had active trolley cars.