My Sometimes Pal
Long ago, in the rolling green hills of the Mississippi Valley, outside the lead mining town of Galena, young Peter McDugal tries to understand his pal, Franky. A lonely boy, Franky tries to be part of Peter’s family. He’s always happy when Peter’s Ma asks him to stay for supper, or when he can help take care of the sheep Peter won in a Sears Roebuck writing contest. And he can’t wait for Peter to enter his prize sheep, Daisy, in the country fair. After all, that sheep is ‘partly his’!
There’s a bully side to Franky. And it scares Peter. Sometimes they’re best friends. Then just as suddenly, he’s up to no good with their pals—plotting to get Peter in trouble or make him look foolish. Sometimes he’s darned mean, like when he aims his slingshot at animals. Sometimes he talks Peter into doing things that are plain wrong. Peter knows that friends gotta stick together, but it gives him a belly ache trying to figure out the right thing to do when he’s around Franky.
The grown-ups in Peter’s life know what’s going on. Sort of. Ma tells him to ‘communicate’ with Franky. Pa says Franky was probably bullied himself. Even Peter’s teacher, Miss Bishop, knows about Franky’s pranks, and she’s rightly proud that Peter is trying hard to be a good friend. But they’re not around when Franky turns on him. When that happens, Peter has to deal with Franky himself.
2014 Winner of the CLIPPA Award!