Author: Miriam Young
Publisher: Parent Magazine Press
Date: June 1964
Genre: Children's, Picture Book
Source: Muh heart
Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Angie @ Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc.
I don't know why, but I've been thinking about this book a lot lately. Maybe it's because it's almost the end of the year or Christmas is around the corner and I'm getting nostalgic or maybe I've just gotten old. This was -MY- children's book when I was a wee one and I've never forgotten it.
It's the story of a little squirrel who lives a very simple, happy life in the top of an oak tree. She takes care of her house, all content and satisfied in her domestication and leads what is almost an ideal little life.
"I love my house, oh, yes-sir-ee,
My own little house in my own oak tree."
One day Miss Suzy is driven from her oak tree by a group of troublesome red squirrels. They smash her acorn cups and break her little twig broom and cause general hate and discontent. Miss Suzy runs away and seeks shelter in the attic of an old house, where she finds a beautiful dollhouse. This dollhouse is very dirty so what does our very domestic minded house-squirrel do? She cleans it!
"My, what a lovely house!" thought Miss Suzy. "It is fit for a queen. But it needs a good housekeeper, so it is just the place for me."
The next day, Miss Suzy is exploring her new domicile when she comes across a box of toy soldiers. Lonely in her big new house, Miss Suzy invites the soldiers to stay with her. Our little Donna Reed squirrel was all too happy to cook and clean for the soldiers and care for them like a good little mother squirrel. But though her new house was very beautiful and her new friends very good company, Miss Suzy missed her little house in her oak tree. So that night, the soldiers set out to reclaim Miss Suzy's tree.
Late that night the captain woke his men and gave them their orders. There were only five of them, but the were very brave, and their hearts were full of love.
The soldiers find the red squirrels still in residence at Miss Suzy's house, fighting and breaking things as troublesome red squirrels are wont to do. The soldiers wave their swords and vow vengeance for Miss Suzy and the squirrels go a runnin'. Miss Suzy is able to return to her little tree house, which is understandably a mess, and she cleans it! Of course she does! And she makes the soldiers promise to come to dinner once a week. All is blissful once again at the top of the oak tree. She makes a new twig broom and new acorn cups, all the while singing as she works.
At night Miss Suzy climbed into her bed and looked through the topmost branches at the sky. She saw a million stars. And the wind blew gently and rocked her to sleep. It was very peaceful.
Now I'm older and in a house of my own. On particularly bad days I say to myself "This will be over soon, and then I can go home to Tara." in an exaggerated southern accent (not difficult for this southerner at all) but most days, just the normal, tired ones, I go home to "my own little house in my own oak tree."