REVIEW OF PRAIRIE DOG COWBOY
by Elysabeth Eldering
Prairie dogs are fast little animals. Most can be found in the midwestern states and that's where we find Buddy Roberts practicing his roping skills to become a "real cowboy." When "Prairie Dog Cowboy" opens, we find ourselves in the middle of turn of the century, before it became a state Oklahoma. Buddy Roberts' mother carries a bitterness towards her second born child due to health issues that occurred while she was pregnant with him causing her to lose lucrative work with Buddy's grandfather. Because of his upbringing, being shunned by his own mother and not knowing anything else, Buddy works his family's property from the time he can really get out and herd the cows and do chores.
In "Prairie Dog Cowboy", we are taken through almost fifteen years of Buddy's life, his trials and tribulations and eventually him becoming a man. His mother thinks he is only good for working with his back, but that which does not break us makes us stronger. Buddy works hard and knows that eventually he will have much to show for it, or will he? When Buddy's father passes away, his mother expects him to do more work to keep the family farm/ranch going and to prevent his older brother from doing any work at all.
Every page of this historical novel keeps tugging at your heartstrings because you so want Buddy to triumph over his mother's bitterness and hatred. You want him to be seen for what he truly is - a cowboy. You want his mother to at least hug him one time and tell him she loves him. You want him to prevail no matter what. Buddy has no further to look than a neighboring rancher who takes Buddy in under his wing and allows him to totally grow up to be the man he will be. Even though Buddy's journey starts when he is almost 5 years old, he is already grown up and wise beyond his years due to all his hard work.
Vivian paints a picture of what life was like in the days of prairies and "real cowboys" and brings some history to the readers as well.
For more on this story, pick up a copy at your local bookstore or order directly from 4RV Publishing. Books may also be ordered from amazon.com.
COMPARISON OF LIFE THEN AND TODAY:
- In the late 1800s/early 1900s, there were no fences around property and if you owned property, you were considered very wealthy. (Today, fences and distinct markings make it easy to keep the herds where they should be.)
- Then, almost all work was done by the hands of the land's owners and hired hands. Very hard and back breaking work for anyone, especially the children. (Today, vehicles are used to cultivate the property and make life a bit easier. The ranchers and farmers do still ride horses and herding still done via horseback, but for the actual farm work - most of the "chores" of yesteryear are not as difficult to endure now.)
- Prior to 1907 and Oklahoma becoming a state in the union, children who were of age to work the farms and ranches rarely attended school after eighth grade and if you got to attend school, you were lucky. (Now, most children, even when old enough to work the farms and ranches, attend school up to graduation and even go to college. Most may only help out after school and on the weekends.)
These are just a few of the things we experience when following Buddy in "Prairie Dog Cowboy." Check out the book and see if you would be able to handle life in the time of Buddy growing up.