In this blog post, author Carol A. Brown introduces readers to Farmer White's Farm
and explains what happened in the beginning of these heartwarming Sassy Pants stories.
An interesting thing happened every spring on a woodsy little farm backed right up to the state forest, tucked away in the hills, not very far from the old Mississippi River. Most of the state of Iowa is flat like a pancake, but this farm was in the one spot the glacier missed when it slid off the North Pole and flattened everything in its way.
Here, it left behind hills, valleys, little creeks, and rivers. A peaceful, quiet place where animals with frazzled nerves came to heal. Farmer White said the farm would have been much larger if it was not standing on end!
Even the animals were different on Farmer White's farm. Sometimes, they seemed almost human. Each spring all the new ones gathered around the water hole where the clearest, coolest water bubbled up from an underground spring. New little pigs, sheep, kittens, chickens, ducks, and so on, as well as any new grownup animals that Farmer White brought to the farm. There was lots of talk, and lots of stories.
There was an old sheep (from the Merino wool family) who kept things in order by telling stories about all the young ones. Some were good, and some not-so-good. Smart young animals could learn how to avoid trouble by listening to
Sassy Pants hoped she was one of the smart ones, but she wasn't sure, yet. Miss Merino had already told a lot of stories about her. Some good and some not-so-good. The good ones made Sassy Pants smile, and feel “proud as a pig,” all over. But the not-so-good ones made her frown and say, “Oh, hooey!”
Then she would try to find something better to do for next time. There was a lot of excitement over a Sassy Pants story, because you could learn something from it, either way. And she was always up to something unexpected.
Miss Merino taught a lot of manners and rules of the farm, that way. But—since she was the best storytelling sheep in Waukon County—nobody minded. And since she always gave a little tease about the next story on the tail of the l
ast one, everybody wanted to hear what happened next before they even got started.
“Are we ready?” She pushed her glasses a little higher on her nose.
A chorus of voices sang out, “Yes! Yes!”