Spring has sprung—and so have we...even cats and dogs get crazy in the spring. After all, what self-respecting cat (that’s me, Chuck) stays somewhere he doesn’t want to be? And what self-respecting dog (that’s Rotten Willy, who calls me Upchuck) won’t let his best friend (me) goad him into action on a fine spring day? Believe me, it’s not easy getting a lumpy Rottweiler over—or under—a big wooden gate! I figured it was about time I took Willy to my pal Luigi’s restaurant for a great spaghetti and meatball dinner. Problem was, Luigi didn’t understand that some dogs and cats, particularly an exceptional feline like me, can be friends. He was only trying to protect me when he went after Willy with a skillet! Boy, did he run. Then Willy decided to teach me how to chase cows. ME chase cows? Me-ow! I tried to introduce him to something more civilized, like chasing mice, but no go. Then came the skunk. Need I say more? But the real obstacle to a long-lasting friendship was yet to come.
Bill Wallace grew up in Oklahoma. Along with riding their horses, he and his friends enjoyed campouts and fishing trips. Toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories to scare one another, and catching fish was always fun. One of the most memorable trips took place on the far side of Lake Lawtonka, at the base of Mt. Scott. He and his best friend, Gary, spent the day shooting shad with bow and arrows, cutting bank poles, and getting ready to go when their dads got home from work. Although there was no "monster" in Lake Lawtonka, one night there was a "sneak attack" by a rather large catfish tail. Checking the bank poles was not nearly as fun or "free" after that point, but it was the inspiration for this story. Bill Wallace has won nineteen children's state awards and been awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Children's Literature from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.