I realized as I bid on more and more jobs for writing and ghostwriting children’s books, that I don’t have many samples of my children’s work available. So here, for your reading pleasure, is an excerpt from the first book in my Raspberry Sassafras series.
Raspberry Sassafras loves the taste of tender, new grass in the springtime and the feel of warm sunshine on her back. She doesn’t live on a farm spending long, lazy days strolling around the pasture. She lives at the very tippy top of a high-rise apartment building in the city.
Raspberry Sassafras hasn’t always been a city cow. When she was younger she lived on a farm the way other cows do. Then one day a family visited the farm. Miss Molly, the farmer’s dog, had a new litter of puppies and the family thought they might like to adopt one.
“What do you think, Jane?” the father asked his daughter. “Do you see one you like?”
Jane crouched down and studied the pups. They were all terribly cute and would grow up to be good and loyal dogs just like their mother. It was a hard choice, but Jane finally decided. She stood up and pointed toward the barn. “I like the big brown and white puppy over there.”
“That’s not a dog, little lady,” the farmer chuckled. “She’s a cow! ”
Jane looked up at her parents, “Can we get the cow-dog?” she asked, excitedly.
Her parents looked at each other. Jane was a good girl and very responsible. She took excellent care of her hamster and her parakeet. There was no reason to believe she wouldn’t take care of a cow.
So, after some instructions and advice from the farmer, they were back in the car and headed home with a happy little cow named Raspberry Sassafras.
Raspberry had been a bit nervous about moving to the city. It was made of concrete, metal and glass and Raspberry Sassafras wondered where she’d find grass to eat. Then Jane took her for a walk, and she discovered that right in the middle of the hard, shiny city were places set aside just to grow grass. It was a bit odd that there were so many cow food farms in the city when she seemed to be the only one who ate there. But all city people were probably as kind as Jane and her parents and just wanted to make sure she always had enough to eat.
Kevin, the man in the uniform who stood outside of the apartment building and said “hello” and “how are you?” and “let me help you with that,” was indeed nice. Jane said he was a doorman, but to Raspberry, he just looked like a regular man. But it didn’t matter what kind of man he was; what mattered was that he never forgot to give her a good scratch behind her left ear, which was the best place of all to be scratched.
Grass was still her favorite food, but Raspberry learned that the city had an endless variety of new and delicious foods to try. Raspberry thought ice cream and noodles and potato chips were among the best. She was very excited the first time she saw a flower restaurant, but only managed to have a few bites before Jane stopped her and explained that in the city flowers were to be given as gifts and not to be eaten. Raspberry laughed when Jane told her this. People could be awfully silly sometimes.
Raspberry loved the apartment where they lived. It rose so high in the sky that from the balcony, it seemed the whole world was spread out below her. She was sure that if she knew which direction to look, she’d be able to see the farm where she’d once lived.
Back on the farm, Raspberry Sassafras slept in a barn she shared with the other cows, but Jane had a big bedroom all her own. Raspberry thought there was enough space for ten children to sleep … or thirteen if they were small and tucked in close together. Jane made Raspberry a cozy little nest of blankets and pillows to sleep on, while she slept in a bed near the east-facing window so that she was gently awakened by the rising sun each morning. In this way, waking up in the city was very much like waking up on the farm. Jane would have been an excellent cow.