This book is dedicated to :
Marie-Soleil Veronique Corbeil She is my little bundle of mischief who continues to inspire me with her un-ending supply of energy and love for life.
One hot lazy summer's day the sun was high up in the sky and the treetops were full of little chirping birds. The wild flowers were standing up tall and proud amongst the tall green grass swaying to and fro in the early afternoon breeze. All the forest animals were either sleeping the afternoon away or relaxing in the shade of the majestic forest trees. All the animals, including Willy Wolf. He was lying there in the tall grass with his long limbs stretched out and was snoring peacefully.
Suddenly there was a loud growling noise, so loud that it woke Willy up from his deep sleep. He opened his eyes slowly, not sure what had awakened him. His big ears pricked up, as he lay still peering through the grass to see what had made the sound. Then, there it was again. This time it sounded louder and seemed to come from right underneath him. He was so startled that he jumped into the air and flipped over completely, landing flat on his back with his four legs pointing upwards. Then again came the dreadful noise. â€œ Grrrrrrrr!â€? it went.
This was too much for even brave Willy; he ran and hid himself behind the tree where Louie Lizard had been sleeping before all the commotion started. Willy put his big furry paw over Louieâ€™s mouth and motioned for him to be quiet. The growl came yet again even louder than before and once again Willy jumped into the air, this time landing on his head and letting out a loud shriek! Louie burst out laughing and fell over holding his sides. "Willy!" he cried, "You look very silly lying on your head like that."
"Oh Louie didn't you hear it?â€? He whispered. â€œSomething terrible is here in the woods and it seems to be following me around." By this time the nearby animals had gathered to see what all noise was about. Just then the growling sound came again and they all started laughing at Willy. "Willy," said Louie, "there is nothing following you around. That's the sound of your belly growling you silly wolf." Willy, who was trying in vain to hide behind Louie, lifted up his head and stared in embarrassment.
He listened closely as yet another growl penetrated the afternoon silence. His big lips stretched slowly across his face revealing his large sharp white teeth and he too burst out laughing. He laughed so much that his sides began to hurt and his eyes began to fill up with tears. He was lying on his back with his legs up in the air laughing at himself. Louie too was still laughing. He was rolling around on top of Willy's exposed belly, laughing harder each time it growled. All throughout the forest the sound of the animals laughter could be heard.
Slowly everyone went back to what they were doing before Willy's belly had disturbed them. Willy and Louie just lay there in the grass for a few minutes chuckling to themselves, after the other animals had left. Then Willy realized that he was hungry. Indeed he was very hungry. So hungry that he exclaimed, " Louie, I am very hungry. So hungry I could eat a whole cow all by myself !" "Well then why don't you Willy?" said Louie." I have nothing to do and I too am a bit hungry so I can help you." He continued.
"Okay." said Willy, "Let's go get ourselves a nice fat cow for supper." So off the two went to get themselves a cow to eat. As they made their way through the forest they came close to a little pond with fishes in it. Willy poked his big nose into the water and blinked his big eyes as he tried to see under the water. Just then a little fish nipped him on the nose! He jumped back shaking his head from side to side. â€œ YEOW!â€? he cried out.
Old Freddy Frog was sitting on a Lily pad and saw what had happened. "What are you looking for in my pond Willy?" said Freddy. "Well hello there Freddy." said Willy. "I did not mean to disturb you.â€? Said Willy a bit embarrassed. â€œI was just looking for a cow to have for supper. Do you have any cows in there?" he asked politely. "No." said Freddy, "There are fishes and tadpoles but no cows. I think you might have more luck at the edge of the forest." He said. Willy and Louie thanked him for his advice and set off towards the edge of the forest to find a cow.
After walking for a while they came to the edge of the forest and saw a wide-open field. They stared in amazement. There were many animals that they had never seen before in their entire life. There were several fat ones and some were very tall with long hairy tails. They were all eating the fresh green grass lazily and not paying attention to anything. Willy and Louie walked up to one of the fat ones that had short spikes coming out of its head and had black and white patches all over its body. It was using its tail to fan away flies and turned its head slowly to watch the two approaching.
"Mooooo!!" it said to Willy and Louie. " May I help you with something?" It asked politely, still chewing a mouthful of grass. "Why yes, yes you can ............ umm... I did not quite get your name ?" Said Willy looking at the creature curiously. "Oh, I'm Betsy." It replied. "I live here on the farm. What are your names and where do you two come from?" "This is Louie and I am Willy ." He replied. "We are looking for a cow to have for supper.Do you know where we can find one? " He asked with a big smile on his face. "Well I don't really know." Betsy replied, "Do you know what it looks like?"
"No." Replied Willy scratching his head, realizing for the first time that he did not know what he was looking for.
"How do you know that you want to eat one then?" She asked with a puzzled look on her face. "Well you see," replied Willy, â€˜â€? last summer some strange animals that walked on two legs were passing through our part of the forest and I overheard them say that they were starving and that they were so hungry they could have eaten a whole cow all by themselves. Since I am starving I too am looking for one to eat.
"Yeah!!!!" shouted Louie excitedly, "And I'm going to help him." He cried jumping up and down. "It sounds delicious." said Betsy who had now lost interest in the grass she was chewing.
"May I come along too?" She begged. "I too am very hungry." Willy and Louie agreed and so the trio set off across the farm in search of a cow. As they came close to the barn they saw Henrietta Hen and her little chicks eating little bits of corn from the ground. "Hello there Henrietta!" called Betsy "Meet my two friends Willy and Louie. They are here to find a cow to have for supper."
Poor Henrietta stopped eating and stared in fright at Willy. She had heard many stories about Willy's relatives and was afraid that he would eat her and her children. She hid her little chicks under her big wings and answered very abruptly, "I am sorry I cannot help you. I have not seen any cows around here." She bid them a quick farewell and scampered off with her little ones close to her without looking back.
"I do apologize for my friend's behavior." Betsy said. "I don't know why she behaved like that. She is really quite a friendly little hen when you
get to know her. Come let's go see if Dennis can help us." She said as she nudged Willy forward with her big hoof. To the side of the barn Dennis Donkey was resting in the shade. He was tired from working with the farmer in the field all morning. "Hello Dennis!" Cried Betsy. "Oh no! Not her!" Muttered Dennis to himself and quickly pretended he was sleeping. "Dennis, here are my new friends. Would you like to meet them?" She asked poking her big nose in Dennis' face.
Dennis was a rather grumpy old donkey and did not like talking much. In fact he very seldom spoke with anyone.
He just wanted to rest so he pretended that he was asleep and began snoring loudly. "I think poor old Dennis is too tired to help us Willy." Betsy said finally, "Let us go and see Oliver, he is quite smart and I am sure he would be able to help us." And with that she led Willy towards the Barn.
Oliver Owl was asleep on the Loft way up in the top of the Barn and heard the noise below as Betsy, Louie and Willy made their way through the straw covered floor. He spun his head around and opened his eyes widely. "Whooooo, Whooooo." he said in his deep voice "Who dares to awaken me from my nap?" "I'm so sorry Oliver." said Betsy, "We did not know that you were asleep. I have brought my new friends to meet you.
They are looking for a cow to have for supper and we were hoping that you could help us find one." The barn door was wide open and the afternoon sun shone down on Betsy and her friends making it very hard for poor Oliver Owl to see them clearly. "Come into the shade, so I can see you better." Oliver said firmly. As Betsy and her friends stepped further in to the Barn they did not see Henrietta Hen and her chicks hiding behind the tools in the corner, but she saw them and let out a very loud "SQUAWK!" Then she ran screaming out of the barn with her little chicks scrambling behind her kicking up the straw as they left.
The noise startled Oliver Owl and he fell off his loft into a pile of straw on the barn floor below. "Oh dear! Oh dear!" Said Betsy running to straw heap. "Are you alright Oliver?" she asked. Oliver was busy trying to pick the straw out of his feathers and looked rather stunned. "Yes I believe I am fine, I don't think I broke anything except a few tail feathers!" he said as he turned his head around to inspect them.
"I don't know what has gotten into Henrietta today. She is acting really odd.," said Betsy. "She has been quite rude to Willy and Louie." "Maybe she was out in the Sun too long," said Louie as he stared at Henrietta still running in the distance. Oliver finished removing the straw from his head and blinked his eyes to get a better look at Betsy's new friends. His eyes opened so wide they almost fell out of their sockets.
Like Henrietta, he too had heard stories about Willy's relatives. He could barely speak and just managed to squeak out. "Are these your friends Betsy?"
"Yes." she replied, "They are Willy and Louie " she said with great pride anxious to claim them as her very own friends. "And... what again is it......... that they are they looking for?" asked Oliver slowly. "Well," she said, "Willy and Louie are very hungry and are looking for a cow to eat, but no one seems to know what one looks like. Would you be able to help us?" "I'm not sure if I can Betsy, are they sure they want to eat a cow?" He asked.
"Yes." Willy interrupted very quickly, "I am truly hungry and when one is truly hungry they should eat a whole cow by themselves, but I don't mind sharing with all my new friends." He quickly added. "Oh dear!" thought Oliver. "Poor Betsy has gotten herself into a real mess this time. How can I get her out of it?" He said to himself as he rubbed his beak with his big feathery wings. "Ah ha!" He said out loud. "I know how to help you. Let us go over to Dorothy Duck's pond. I believe there we would be able to find what you are looking for."
"But," objected Willy, "I have already looked in a pond, Freddy Frog's pond. The only thing I got was a good nip on the nose. I can assure you there are no cows there!!" "Trust me Willy, I know for a fact that you will find what you are looking for at Dorothy's pond." said Oliver firmly. "Yippee!" cried Louie jumping up onto Willy's back. "Weâ€™re going to eat a cow for supper. Yippee, Yippee!!!!" Willy was very happy and did a little wolf dance on tip toes right there in the middle of the barn while rubbing his big hairy belly. Betsy too was very happy, "Willy can I have some of your Cow too?" she begged.
"Yes of course." said Willy, and the three of them joined hands and started dancing in a ring. Betsy reached out and grabbed Oliver Owl by the wing and started dancing with him, "You can help us eat the cow too Oliver. I am sure there will be enough for you." she said laughing. Henrietta Hen was peeking through a hole in the side of the barn and all the little chicks were scrambling on top of each other trying to see what was going on. "Oh goodness gracious me!" cried Henrietta, holding her head in her two wings and shaking it from side to side. "Oh poor Betsy! Goodness gracious me. Poor Betsy!"
She was mumbling to herself as the entire group led by Oliver left the barn to make their way to Dorothy's pond. As they approached the Pond they could see Dorothy asleep bobbing up and down peacefully in the pond with all her ducklings trailing behind her. When they got close to the pond, the noise awakened Dorothy. It took only a few seconds for her eyes to adjust to the afternoon sun and then with a loud scream she flapped her wings and made her way out of the pond screaming and squawking with her ducklings following her squeaking loudly into the nearby reeds. They were flapping their little wings as fast as they could.
"What's wrong Dorothy?" Cried Betsy. "Did you see the cow in there?" She asked very excitedly. She was now running towards the pond with Willy and Louie. They got to the edge of the pond and then stopped so suddenly that they almost fell in. "You look first Willy." said Betsy, "You have come a long way, and so I think that it is only fair that you should look first." " No let's all look together." Replied Willy. "Where is Oliver?" he asked. Poor Oliver was having a hard time keeping up with them and was a little way off. The sun was making it hard for him to see. "I'm almost there." he said out of breath. "Almost there."
"Take your time Oliver." Said Willy. "We will wait for you. We have waited this long, we can certainly wait a few minutes more." Finally Oliver made it to where they were all gathered. Henrietta and her chicks were peeking out of the reeds together with Dorothy and her ducklings. All the animals became silent as they looked on, fearing what would happen next. Oliver decided that they would look into the pond together on the count of three. "One... Two... Three!" Oliver counted slowly and they all peeked into the pond together.
"I don't see anything." said Louie. "Neither do I." Said Willy. "There she is." Said Oliver, "There is your cow." he said as he pointed to Betsy's reflection in the gleaming pond. "HUH!!!!!!" Said Willy a bit confused. "Oh Oh! " cried Henrietta as she pulled the reeds tightly around herself and her chicks. "I don't see any cows," said Betsy as she looked up in disappointment. Then she realized that all the animals were now looking at her. "Betsy my dear," said Oliver. "YOU are a cow. You give milk to the farmer don't you?"
"Yes." she replied slowly. “And you have two horns and eat grass, don’t you?” “ Well yes she replied slowly.” “you are a cow Betsy!” said Oliver. “Your mother was a cow and so was her mother before her !" Oliver said impatiently. "Wow! she exclaimed "I am a cow!" She peeked back into the pond to look at herself once more. "I am a very pretty cow!" she said proudly. Then she stopped and slowly lifted her head to look at the surprised Willy and Louie. "Willy, you are not going to eat me are you....?" She asked sadly as her big brown eyes filled with tears.
There was a sudden silence and no one dared to say anything. Dorothy and Henrietta were now shaking from fright and hugging each other and at the same time trying to cover their eyes. Willy slowly walked up to Betsy and sniffed her a bit, then he looked at her big brown eyes. â€œI don't want to hurt your feelings Betsy but you don't really smell very good to eat. â€œAnd why would I want to eat my friend?" He smiled and wrapped his furry paws around Betsy's neck. All the animals sighed very loudly and then started jumping up and down in relief. "Willy is not going to eat Betsy... Yay!!!" they all shouted.
Just then Willy's belly growled again and they all fell silent. "Oh dear." he cried "I am still very hungry and all this laughing has made me even more hungry Louie. What are we to eat?â€?
The other animals were extremely silent. They now wondered if Willy would eat them instead of Betsy. Oliver too was afraid and quickly said, "Willy we are ALL your friends and would love to have you over to have supper with us if you don't mind eating what we eat. The farmer will be bringing us our food shortly so you are welcome to stay and share if you like."
"Thank you very much." said Willy and Louie almost at the same time. "That would be very nice indeed."
All the animals made their way back to the barn to have their supper laughing and talking with their new friends along the way. Henrietta and Dorothy were no longer afraid of Willy and were running along side of him chattering continually and asking him many questions about his home and other friends in the woods. Willy answered all their questions and continued answering them right through supper. When supper was over, the sun began to set , it was time for
Louie and Willy to go back to their home in the woods. The animals packed them a little bag of goodies to take along on their journey and walked with them to the edge of the farm.
Louie had eaten too much and was too tired to walk so Willy lifted him gently on to his big strong back. They said farewell to all the farm animals and gave Betsy a big hug before setting off into the forest. When they reached the edge of the forest they turned around and waved one last time to their new farm friends.
"Farewell Betsy and Oliver!" Said Willy. "Farewell Henrietta and Dorothy, take care of your little ones!" joined Louie.
Farewell Dennis we shall visit again we promise." Said Louie and Willy. "Bye Willy and Louie!" They all replied loudly and then went back to the barn to settle down for the night.
The moon was now shining brightly above and Willy and Louie were very happy when they finally got home and snuggled down to sleep. Although they did not get to eat a cow they both agreed that they had met some very kind and wonderful new friends and no longer wanted to eat a cow... EVER!
Tomorrow would bring other exciting adventures, but tonight they just wanted to go to sleep and dream about their new friends.
This me Author of the Willy Wolf series Gail Corbeil
This is my friend and Illustrator Ashley Gilkes
I hope you enjoyed reading this book as much I ejoyed writing it. Keep reading !