snow owl

This is the photo in the book to show the Wise Old Owl. Our introduction to this fellow is in the third story in The Complete Adventures of SHELBY F SQUIRREL and Friends, which is entitled “SHELBY IN THE DARK”.

Shelby and his sister, Darby, have been told they are nocturnal animals and will be flying at night starting that same evening. Shelby is horrified!! You guessed it – he’s afraid of the dark!!!

Darby is a typical little sister, sensible, practical and a bit of a goody-goody. She admonishes Shelby to do what he’s told, and after all, Mother knows best.

Their encounter with the Wise Old Owl is scary at first, but ends up in friendship and a gentle lesson to help Shelby understand that he is the perfect night-time flying machine.

Thus starts a permanent friendship and kindly-old-uncle relationship with the forest youngsters.

raccoon in tree

Part of SHELBY’S inner circle includes Molly and Polly Raccoon. The whole raccoon family, parents Ringtail and Lottie, and their two roly-poly children arrive in the forest in small cages.

The whole  F. Squirrel family witnesses the cages being carried in and the doors being opened. When the people leave the new animals crawl out, nuzzle each other with pure joy, and waddle off. The Flying Squirrels go home.

Their sleep is disturbed when Ringtail’s nose pokes into their nest, loudly saying, “This looks like a good place!” Mother F. Squirrel has to explain that the old woodpecker hole is already occupied.

That’s when SHELBY pipes up to say he knows the perfect spot for the newcomers’ home. When they all get to the tree he has in mind, one of the Raccoon children jumps off a branch, landing painfully on the ground. She wants to fly like SHELBY and his family!!!  Ringtail explains quietly that being a Raccoon means you can’t fly, it’s totally alright to be different from your friends, and they will all be able to play together just fine.



That’s Marvin F. (for FIELD) Mouse. He becomes Shelby’s BFF, and thinks he should change his name to Marvin FLYING Mouse, because he likes to hitch rides on Shelby’s back.

Marvin shows SHELBY the workings of a Boy Scout camp. They find a bag of oats in the cook tent, bite a hole or two in it and munch away blissfully until it teeters over and creates havoc, landing on pots and pans below.

An immediate chase follows, and to help Marvin avoid being trampled, SHELBY gets him to jump on his back, and off they go on their first piggy-back ride.

Here’s a list of the rest of the characters in the book:

The Wise Old Owl / kindly crossing guard / a mean crow / the Snowshoe Rabbit / Rudolph and Santa Claus / Charlie, the old farm horse / children at a maple sugar camp / Ringtail & Lottie Raccoon & twins Molly & Polly / school children on a nature hike / Rosie & Rusty Robin / Sultan, the rooster & his harem / Squealer the pig / Billy, Nanny & Capra, the goats / the farmer & his wife / children sleigh-riding / Olive, a lamb / two swans & babies / dairy cows / Petra F. Squirrel

The Pigs

Shelby’s Introduction to the

Pigs on the Farm: Shelby in the Pigpen

It was a few day later, after the adventure that had burned his tongue. (Dear Reader, that is another story…..) Mother and Darby had been amazed at the news that snacks would be put out for them on the veranda railing. Shelby remembered the strange animals he had seen that afternoon and went to take a look. He even remembered to tell his mother where he was going. She had been pretty impressed and said, “Shelby, just be sure they are friendly before you get into that pen. Those are big animals from what you are saying!”

Off he went and soon discovered that Darby was following him. Oh brother, that was going to be the price he would pay for telling his mother where he was going! His sister would be coming along without an invitation! He went faster to try to lose her.

“Shelby, wait up!” she shouted to him, but he ignored her and tore through the trees in the orchard, and dashed full speed toward the pig pen. In a flash it seemed, he was teetering on the fencing around the pen.

Suddenly a dozen mean little eyes were turned his way and a grunting, low-pitched voice said loudly, “Well, what have we here?” and his ample body bumped heavily against the fence. Startled, Shelby lost his footing and fell headlong into the wide trough just below him. He landed in a sea of mush, and felt himself begin to sink into it!

Excitement and more….

Perhaps you can guess. The pigs jiggle the pen rail until Shelby falls off and lands in the feed trough. Darby arrives just in time to rescue him! Together they introduce themselves, and find out that the pigs think they are laughed at by every animal on the farm.

Charlie’s laugh was taken the wrong way! Shelby and Darby explain that Charlie just loves to laugh. They make friends with the pigs, and realize how important it is to behave politely when with new friends. Charlie happily comes to the pigpen to explain, and peace is allowed to descend upon them.

(Author’s note: Every story in the SHELBY F. SQUIRREL series contains not just one, but several different life lessons, gentle reminders that are subtly woven into the action.)


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