Barbara A. Beswick
A Christmas Moon by Barbara A. Beswick

A Christmas Moon is designed as a gift to be given and
read to a child who loves bedtime stories. This one is a
Christmas story, blending the Baby Jesus’ birth with Santa
and Saint Nick. It leaves spaces for the recipient child’s
name to be written in by either the child or the presenter’s
hand, making it an exciting and cherished keepsake from
someone special.

A grandmother is visiting her grandchild and his/her
parents on Christmas Eve, bringing pies and cookies for
the family. The child has been allowed to stay up a little
later; but it’s bedtime, now, and grandmother is begged to
do the story-telling before sleep. The moon is a big, silvery
disc, shining through the child’s bedroom window as the
story unfolds with questions and answers about the holiday
that the child may help fill in.
A few months after marrying my husband, he gained custody of
his four children ranging in age from 6 to 13. We needed a space
to grow, immediately. After locating a farm for sale with many
fields and outbuildings and a big house with numerous
bedrooms, we began to collect farm animals. We already had the
farm dog, our Dalmatian, Tally…and, of course, the kids.

Along came “Bessie”, who gave us several calves…one we
named “Taffy” and another was part buffalo! A flock of chickens
provided us with brown eggs. Our collection of ewes was
permanent and we named them “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and
Thyme.” They kept surprising us with sets of twin lambs every
spring which the children learned not to name since they were
going to go to market. A major source of humor was the three
huge, Landrace sows and their many litters of piglets. Those little
ones were often welcomed guests to play with and chase…at
birthday parties.

Into one of the outbuildings, we put baby Pekin ducklings and
built a big pen for them to enjoy the outdoors as they grew bigger.
Half a dozen big geese were our “watchdogs” and ranged freely
on the property since Tally was just too, darned friendly with
everyone. Those geese honked up a storm whenever anyone
came up our long driveway… sometimes just asking permission
to hunt on our property. With 40 acres, surely there was plenty of
room for outside hunters!

At one point we had three horses and a pony…so many kids
needing rides! Then we added one more child as the older ones
headed to college.

The stories are still being told of the years spent on the farm:
learning how to build fences and feed animals; handling birth
and death; dealing with wild animal invasions; fixing the roof;
sniffing the breeze for home made bread; waiting for deer and
rabbit season; tending the huge kitchen garden and communing
with Nature in its seasonal finery.

Dippy Duck’s Adventures is almost true, with some small
liberties taken in the story line. One of our sons, Erich (pictured
with me), enjoyed all of the animals and their upkeep and
actually did rescue the duck he named “Dippy” from a fox that
crept into the duck pen one night. The tale grew from there and I
decided to include a Glossary. Many of the farm terms might not
be familiar to children who are growing up in a more suburban
atmosphere.

I enjoyed doing the illustrations myself after retiring from teaching
art for many years to children of all ages around the country. It
was a lesson in discipline for me and much harder than writing
the story, which took only a short time by comparison.

Children aged ten and up to 14 will enjoy reading Dippy’s story
which has friendship, loyalty, working for the joy of
accomplishment, and family support as its underlying
themes…and any aged child will love listening to the story.  The
Glossary will increase word power; and the illustrations, I think,
will bring Erich’s interesting life on the farm closer to the reader.
This project conjured many happy memories for me, as an
added bonus.
A Christmas Moon by Barbara A. Beswick

A Christmas Moon is designed as a gift to be given and
read to a child who loves bedtime stories. This one is a
Christmas story, blending the Baby Jesus’ birth with Santa
and Saint Nick. It leaves spaces for the recipient child’s
name to be written in by either the child or the presenter’s
hand, making it an exciting and cherished keepsake from
someone special.

A grandmother is visiting her grandchild and his/her
parents on Christmas Eve, bringing pies and cookies for
the family. The child has been allowed to stay up a little
later; but it’s bedtime, now, and grandmother is begged to
do the story-telling before sleep. The moon is a big, silvery
disc, shining through the child’s bedroom window as the
story unfolds with questions and answers about the holiday
that the child may help fill in.
Dippy Duck’s Adventures by Barbara A. Beswick

Dippy Duck’s Adventures is a true tale of heroism, friendship and
acquiring a work ethic…that any boy or girl who loves animals
will relate to. A Pekin duck is under a nighttime attack when Erich
and his trusted dog, Tally, rescue him from the marauding red
fox. "Dippy" is not returned to the duck pen, but remains free to
befriend Tally in an unusual alliance. Everything is fine until the
day of the auction—trouble, again!

A new experience in the world of the "gentleman’s farm" and all
of the animals on it, is in store for all aged listeners…and for
readers, ten and up. With illustrations by the author, life on the
farm will become a reality for a brief moment in time, aided by the
Glossary which the reader might look over before reading the
story.

Take a moment to absorb the tale of Erich and his friends: Tally,
the Dalmatian, and Dippy, the Pekin duck.