RASCAL by Sterling North


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Mr. North's childhood memoir about his pet reccoon Rascal mixes sentiment, Nostalgia and treacle in about equal overdoses. Adults will not be as likely to eat the whole panful as may younger readers. Yet Rascal becomes an engaging character among characters such as Poe-the-Crow and Wowser the 170-pound St. Bernard. Living in a cabin in the southern Wisconsin woods with his father (his mother is dead, sisters married), Sterling-- and Wowser-- capture a one-pound infant raccoon in the summer of 1918. As Rascal grows, so does his rascality. He steals off at night to drain the sugar from ears of neighbors' sweet corn, and develops some andal habits. During an interlude, Sterling and his father take Rascal on a two-week camping trip. When they return, Sterling has to give in; a collar and eash for Rascal, and a pen for him to stay in while Sterling is at school. Eventually, Rascal weighs thirteen pounds, which is too much raccoon for the skittish new housekeeper, and Sterling takes Rascal far downstream and leaves him. Rascal gives a mating call and cuts out after a coon who has answered. Rascal is quite fetching, though the emotional climate he lives in is a little groggy at times.

Pub Date: Aug. 5th, 1963
ISBN: 0140344454
Publisher: Dutton