Three-Dollar Mule

Our rating: ***½

Coming home from a neighbor’s house, Don and his sister Jenny see a man beating a mule by the road. Don buys the mule out of pity for three dollars. At home, the mule causes problem after problem. Don’s father wants his son to get rid of the mule any way he can. But Don grows to love the mule and refuses to give him to just anybody.

Three-Dollar Mule┬áis a great book for younger readers. It’s a nice story that is written in a simple manner. I may have enjoyed it more if I had read it when I was in the intended age group, but that’s not to say this story cannot stand the test of time. Three-Dollar Mule┬áremains a good read, best-suited for the younger audience.

Two Dogs and a Horse

Our rating: ***½

To start with, this book is made up of three unrelated short stories. The first, A Dog Remembers is about a large, friendly dog named Brad that comes to town one day with his master. The townspeople joke about Brad, saying that the dog is a lion. When Brad’s master is killed by another dog, Brad gets the blame. After all, he’s a big dog. Throughout the story, Brad tries to avoid the other dog and later on tries to find another master.

The second story is called The Black Horse. Jed Hale, lured by his employer’s reward of five hundred dollars, sets out to capture a wild black horse. This is no easy task. The horse is a said to be a killer and Jed has been crippled since childhood. Jed finally trails the horse to a ravine that is blocked on one side by an impassable swamp. The horse gets scared by a landslide and jumps into the swamp. Jed, not willing to leave the horse, must rescue it all by himself.

The last story The Lake and the Lonely Exiles is (surprise, surprise) about another dog. This dog lives on a farm and is quite happy. Then the farmer goes away on vacation, leaving the farm to a caretaker. The dog, who looks like a wolf, is blamed for killing sheep. Rather than kill the dog, the caretaker does what he thinks is the easy way out and dumps the dog on a lonely road. The dog ends up near a lake and adopts an injured goose as a companion.

I can’t decide which story I like the most. There are only two animal characters that have names. In the first story there’s Brad and in the third there is a mule named Adolph Hitler. I don’t believe that there is any bad language in any of these stories. This is a short book, but it is also very enjoyable.