Here is the beginning of Molly's story..
Written by Penelope Colville Paine
Illustrated by Itoko Maeno
O’Malley’s farm overlooked Clew Bay. While the sheep wandered over the rugged farmlands and the cows grazed in the cliff top pasture, a family of pigs dozed comfortably in the muddy barnyard sty. All except a special pig named Molly.
Molly was at home in the farmhouse kitchen, where young Miles O’Malley had taken care of her since she was little, feeding her warm goats’ milk and mashed potatoes. Molly liked to sleep in her spot by the turf fire or lie in the doorway watching Paddy the farmhand as he worked in the yard.
But the best time of the day was when Miles came home from school.
Miles was special too. He knew all kinds of magic and tricks, and every day he would teach Molly something new-how to find hidden apples, dance a jig, or balance a tin plate on her head.
“Watch Molly do a trick, Mum,” Miles said one afternoon as he pretended to pull a handball from Molly’s ear. He tossed the ball in the air, and Molly caught it neatly.
“Why is this pig still in my kitchen?” Grace O’Malley exclaimed as she tripped over Molly. “Perhaps for her next trick she could make herself disappear.” She opened the back door and pushed Molly outside with the broom.
Molly’s days in the kitchen were over, but she didn’t care. She played handball with Miles against the side of the barn and rode to town with him in the bucket of the tractor.
She learned to swim and to help Dougal the sheep dog herd the sheep. She stayed out of Mrs. O’Malley’s way.
One afternoon Molly was napping in the rose garden when she was awakened by strange crunching noises.
She opened one eye, then the other, and to her amazement she saw sheep, lots of sheep, busily munching on Mrs. O’Malley’s beans and pansies.
Molly jumped to her feet. She wondered where Dougal was, but the sheep were crowding into the garden and there was no time to spare. What if they ate all the roses?
Molly remembered Dougal’s commands, and with an oink and a squeal she herded the bleating sheep across the yard towards the old abbey where they scurried through the gap in the wall. Molly was close on their tails, so busy giving instructions that she did not notice that the gap was meant for sheep...but not for pigs.
Molly was stuck tight. “Perhaps if I kick my trotters,” she thought, “I could push myself back.” But that didn’t work. There had to be a way.
Then it started to rain, and for Molly rain meant mud. “Aha!
“The culprit!” Mrs. O’Malley exclaimed, spotting Molly as she entered the yard. “I’ve been looking for you!” Mrs. O’Malley turned on the tap and started to hose Molly down, calling to Paddy for help.
“My word,” said Paddy. “She does scrub up well! Are you taking her somewhere?”
“Yes I am,” Mrs. O’Malley answered. “She has eaten all my beans, not to mention my pansies. I have enough problems without wondering where she is or what she is doing. It is time for Molly to join her sisters in the sty.”
Molly found it very hard to be in the sty, especially under such unjust circumstances. Her sisters, Breda and Maureen, were not very creative. Set in their routine, they would just eat, roll, and sleep. They grunted in annoyance when Molly caught the apples Miles threw to her. They snorted in disgust when she danced around the trough and, worst of all, they made fun of her curly tail. Their tails, of course, were perfectly straight.
To pass away her time Molly would lean over the sty wall and watch what was going on around the house and barn. One sunny morning Paddy set out tables, chairs and pretty umbrellas in the garden while Mrs. O’Malley painted a sign.
2:00-5:00 every afternoon
O’Malley’s Seaside Farm
Plenty of Parking
Miles placed the sign by the gate and tied a balloon to the top.
“I wish more visitors would come for tea,” Miles confided to Molly one evening, giving her some leftover cakes. “We didn’t serve many people today, and Mum says she needs to make a profit to help buy feed for the winter. We are listed in the tourist guide book, and Mum made a sign, but the problem is not enough tourists see the sign. What do you think, Molly?” he asked. “Do you have any ideas? Paddy says we need a magician to conjure up some customers.”
Molly thought hard about this problem all night.
In the morning she asked the cows if they knew where the tourists stayed. “Nooo,”
Molly asked the sheep if they had seen any tourists. “Oh we really wouldn’t know,” they answered all together. “We don’t notice much. We just follow each other around.”
“You fly around and chatter to everyone,” Molly said to the magpies. “Do you know where I can find tourists?”
“Straight over there past the hay field on the main road,” one magpie answered hurriedly, pointing towards the sky with a wing, “but as you only have legs you will have to go up the lane!”
“Hmmm...” said Molly. “Thanks a lot.” Now she had the information she needed. Now she had to think of a way to get out of the sty...then she would need to move the sign...and then...she gazed out over the hay field deep in thought.
For once, Molly was glad her sisters stuck rigidly to their daily schedule. She could be sure they would settle into their afternoon nap just after lunch. As they snored loudly, their big bodies shuddering up and down, Molly dug herself out of the sty. She had found a soft spot by the gate. And she had a plan.
“I think it will work,” she smiled to herself, heading for the lane.
Molly poked her nose between the hinged sides of the tea sign and wriggled underneath. A perfect fit! She hurried along the lane, past the hay field.
The main road was busy with holiday traffic. Molly positioned herself in good view of all the passing cars. Every now and then, she spun around to make sure everyone could see the sign.
To find out what happened to Molly and her sign download MOLLY'S MAGIC Free at amazon.
In Kylie’s Song, a young koala with a dream discovered that “you can do most anything if you try.” Kylie learned to sing, and her music brought joy to all her forest friends.
Now, in Kylie’s Concert, it is time for Kylie to say goodbye to those friends – even her very best friend, Willy Wagtail. She must leave the security of her eucalyptus tree to follow the forest path and a new dream. On her journey, Kylie will meet some of the most unusual creatures of the Australian wilderness – among them the echidna, the tree kangaroo, and the tawny frogmouth. She will see the forest’s treasures and learn its secrets. And she will be warned of a terrible danger threatening the forest world.
In this new Kylie book, author Patty Sheehan and illustrator Itoko Maeno have once again created a world of magic and meaning. As children travel with Kylie through the enchanting Australian wilderness, they will learn about the importance of taking care of our natural world. And they will discover with Kylie that by nurturing their own dreams, they may make their greatest contributions to others.
KYLIE'S SONG is equally beautiful. FREE September 11-15.