‘The Moon Child Of Wolfe Creek’ by Jesse Stuart

The Moon Child Of Wolfe Creek by Jesse Stuart, 1946

The magic trick:

A premise that immediately generates curiosity in the reader

Jesse Stuart’s world of remembered Eastern Kentucky always has a childlike simplicity and purity to it. Especially when his subject matter is children, as it is in today’s story.

The premise here virtually guarantees the reader’s interest. A teacher starts his first day at a new school and one of the young students refuses to attend, preferring instead to stay a mile up a nearby mountain, looking down from afar.

Two immediate questions then:

Why is this kid doing that?

What is the teacher going to do about it?

Read on to find out.

And that’s quite a trick on Stuart’s part.

The selection:

“Where does Don Crump live?” I asked Vennie as I stood wondering what to do.

“He lives on Wolfe Creek.”

“Any other family live near him?”

“Nope.”

“How long is Wolfe Creek?”

“Five or six miles long.”

“What does Don do at home?”

“He helps his pappy with the croppin’ during the season,” Vennie explained. “All winter long he hunts and traps. That’s the way the Crumps make some money. They sell hides. Don is a good hunter. He can put his nose down to a dirt hole and tell if there’s anything in it. And if there’s something in the hole he can tell you what it is.”

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