Rereading: FREDDY THE COWBOY by Walter R. Brooks

In the 1980s, Knopf tried a limited line of Freddy trade paperbacks, allowing me to fill in some gaps in the series like this one, the seventeenth. The cover art was awful, but at least the interior illustrations by Kurt Wiese were retained. His Freddy is much more appealing.

Several of the Bean farm animals decide to go off in search of adventure, each in a different direction, and Freddy’s journey brings him to a dude ranch, where the owner, Mr. Flint, is mistreating a horse he uses as a bucking bronco. The horse, Cy, and Freddy soon come to an understanding by talking quietly to each other, and Freddy wins Cy in a bet that he can’t stay on the horse’s back. Mr. Flint is a sore loser, and is soon plotting not only to get his horse back, but to kill the talking pig who befriended him.

Jinx the cat also has an interesting adventure that makes him some new mouse friends at a distant farm. They’re being extorted by squirrels, and Jinx captures the leader in one of his own traps. Eventually Jinx also runs afoul of Mr. Flint, who is on a rampage to destroy Freddy and rob the First Animal Bank while he’s at it. Before long, all the farm animals and other friends are trying to help, but Flint and his ranch hands prove to be tricky opponents. Also debuting in this book are my favorite mysterious ninja-like figures, the Terrible Ten.

In addition to the usual fun, this has the appeal of amusing western themes and poetry by Freddy. Recommended.

Freddy the Cowboy by Walter R Brooks

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