Old Man Whickutt's Donkey
. Parents' Magazine Press . NY ,
PZ7.C1278 Old 1975 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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I am surprised that I had never run into a reference to this book--and delighted to know that an artist as good as de Paola illustrated it. The story is told in folksy dialect. Whickutt kept talking as they drove the donkey to the mill so's they'd need him along. The sack of corn that the donkey was carrying kept sliding around, so the old man decided to tie the sack under the donkey's belly. In the meantime the sack keeps spilling, and the birds keep eating up the fallen grains. When Granny Pollard suggested that Whickutt ride, he turned out to have such long legs that he walked while he was riding! During this phase, the boy has to carry the sack. Preacher Hawkins chastises Whickutt for making the boy walk and carry a load. Mother Jones then criticized the lazy boy. When he had to carry both persons and the sack, The donkey, he was king of sagging. The Perkins family cried out Poor little donkey! Why, you'll break the beast's back… Just then, the donkey collapsed. Donkey's turn to ride! The miller across the river was about to tell them what they ought to do when Whickutt shouted I'm derned if I do, derned if I don't! and decided to please himself. Whickutt then threw each--the sack, the boy, and the donkey--over the creek. Then he threw himself across it too! Formerly in the collection of the Racine Public Library.