UNDER THE LEMON TREE by Edith Thacher Hurd


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A beckoning Mediterranean farmyard, an injustice to be righted, a danger to be thwarted, and lots of animal sounds to chime in on--so who cares if the actual plot is old hat? Tethered ""under the lemon tree"" is a gray donkey whose braying at the stealthy approach of a fox wakes the rooster, the chickens, and the ducks--and thus puts the fox to rout. But the also-roused farmer and his wife, unaware of the fox's presence, indignantly exile the donkey to a distant fig tree. Then the fox returns, snatches up the farmer's pet rooster, and streaks off--only to be intercepted again by the sleepless donkey's EE-AAW-EE-AWWEE-AAW. This time of course the farmer and his wife are properly grateful, and the donkey is restored to her lemon-tree domain forever. That tree is a vital presence, not a picturesque prop; the animals are scatty, the couple is comical; and even the fox is saved from villainy--she's ""looking for something for herself and her five little foxes to eat."" However modest, it's the kind of thoughtful, assured performance one expects of the Hurds.

Pub Date: March 27th, 1980
Publisher: Little, Brown