Rascal (Puffin Modern Classics)
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Rascal is only a baby when young Sterling brings him home. He and the mischievous raccoon are best friends for a perfect year of adventure?until the spring day when everything suddenly changes.
A Newbery Honor Book
gleaming obsidian spear points, some of them eight inches long, red calumets transported from Minnesota, and copper ornaments from the Lake Superior region. As we progressed downward toward the beach, Rascal trundled along obediently, panting in the manner of dogs and raccoons when they are hot. The sight of glistening water ahead, cool and inviting, increased his gait to a gallop. I paused to examine his tracks which made a design like beadwork on an Indian quiver. The handprints and
his eye and looked up from his work. “Well, Sterling?” “We don’t want to bother you, Mr. Shadwick . . .” “Boys and ’coons don’t bother me,” the harness-maker said. He returned to his engraving for several minutes, then tossed it aside and exploded, “It’s these gol-danged automobiles, smelly, noisy, dirty things, scaring horses right off the road . . . ruin a man’s business . . . Well, son, speak up. What is it you want?” “I want a collar for Rascal,” I said, fighting the stinging moisture in
complacent pet. “You don’t need to measure him, Mr. Shadwick. Here’s a string that’s just the right length for the collar, with knots where the holes and the buckle should be, and allowing a little for when he gets bigger.” The harness-maker came as near to smiling as I had ever seen him. With swift precision he went to work on a strong, light collar of pliable, golden-brown calfskin, about half an inch wide. He used his smallest awl to make the holes and his smallest needle and lightest waxed
pool, or merely went to sleep in the grass. My father sent a postcard from Montana saying he would not return for another ten days or two weeks. Fortunately we ran a charge account at the meat market and at one of the groceries. But to raise money for staples and hinges I had to dig and sell two more bushels of my potatoes. I was somewhat lonesome and very grateful for Rascal’s companionship night and day. Possibly I could have built the cage in less time had I not been aware of its purpose.
The crowd around us was roaring with laughter, but it wasn’t very funny to us. We were desperate, exasperated, covered with blueberries, and breathing hard. Everybody wanted the three-dollar grand prize, not to mention the glory and the blue ribbon. I was practically certain that only Slammy Stillman was ahead of me, and I didn’t see how I could ever catch up. Then my best friend came to my rescue. Rascal knew all about pies, and he loved blueberries. He leaped to the table and started helping