A Young Steer Wanders Woodstock
Let's say you're a week-old steer who's just escaped from Billings Farm... within minutes of arriving there. Where in Woodstock would you go?
This actually happened. Huck is an American Milking Devon -- one of the first breeds of cattle brought over by the British in the 1600s and renowned for their smarts, strength and fortitude in clearing timber, pulling plows, and generally turning Vermont into the working landscape it became.
In September, 2017, Huck and his brother, Finn, got delivered to Billings to take up their places as draft-animals-in-training. Huck had other ideas, and lit out for the hills. Over the course of the day, he wandered the town's roads and trails, and was sighted by the star -- or really, The Star -- atop Mt. Tom. The following day, he showed up back at Billings.
Huck and Finn in real life.
Now Kristina Rodanas, an author and illustrator who lives in Woodstock, has turned Huck's adventure into a picture book, Huck's Way Home. She'll be reading from it at The Yankee Bookshop on Sunday, December 9 at 11 am.
She writes in an email, "Huck was indeed spotted all over Woodstock and Mount Tom. There were calls in to the Woodstock Police Dept. from many people.... He was spotted in at least two cemeteries and there was a post in the Police Log that he was seen running along Elm Street. Hikers spotted him at The Pogue on Mt. Tom and at the Star. In order to fit the story into a 32-page picture book, I actually included fewer of the places where he was seen…. All of the places in "Huck’s Way Home" are actual stops on his journey. Since there was no way to be certain of the actual order of his stops, I did my best to come up with a logical progression of events for him. There is a map included in the book for reference."
Huck was supposed to be at Sundays' reading, but those plans fell through. However, if you're out and about in Woodstock on Saturday for the Wassail Parade, you'll see him. And Finn, too.