Leroy Ninker Saddles Up

Today I’m going to share more fun from Deckawoo Drive, where Mercy Watson lives. In her third book, Mercy foils a thief trying to steal her family’s toaster. That thief is Leroy Ninker. He isn’t a very good thief, for at heart, he wants to be a cowboy. In Mercy’s sixth book we see Leroy again, at his new job selling popcorn at the drive in movie theater. Leroy has reformed, but he still longs to be a real cowboy.

Kate DiCamillo followed the Mercy Watson series with books that are a grade level higher, the Tales From Deckawoo Drive series. Leroy stars in the first installment.

Leroy’s coworker, Miss Beatrice Leapaleoni, points out to him that he has the boots, the hat and the lasso, but he’s missing the horse. Beatrice shows him an ad for a horse that just might be perfect for him, but she reminds him to check the teeth and hooves.

When Leroy meets the horse, he sees that she has four hooves, so that’s good, and about four teeth, which seems okay to a guy who has no real horse knowledge. It turns out the horse, Maybelline, is free to someone who will love and car for her. She eats a lot, doesn’t like to be alone and loves compliments.

Leroy quickly learns that he must whisper sweet nothings in Maybelline’s ear to get her to giddy-up, but he doesn’t mind a bit. He doesn’t have hay or oats to feed her so he makes her a large pot of spaghetti. They are a match made in Heaven.

The climax of the story comes as a thunderstorm scares Maybelline into running off. Leroy is utterly lost without her but finally the clouds clear and he tracks her down. The story finishes up on Deckawoo Drive, where Leroy, Maybelline and some old friends enjoy a breakfast of toast with a good deal of butter on it.

What you have to do here is take fate in your hands and wrestle it to the ground.

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