It's not so bad living a dog's life. Unless you're a cat.
Most times, hanging out with Rotten Willy (the huge dog on the cover) was cool. We played chase, talked, and chowed down on spaghetti and meatballs at Luigi's restaurant. Even though he was a dog (and sometimes called me Upchuck instead of Chuck), I could handle it. He was my best friend.
Then this baseball stuff started and Willy went bonkers. I never saw him act so crazy. On top of that, these two new cats moved into our neighborhood. Trouble was, tough-guy Roscoe and his cute fuzzy sister, Rikki, did not like dogs.
Dogs belong with dogs and cats belong with cats, they said.
I was showing them the sights when I suddenly spied the dogcatcher, just waiting to trap Willy as he raced across the field with a baseball in his mouth. But Roscoe and Rikki would never understand if they found out my best friend was a dog. How could I save Willy before it was too late? What's a cat to do when he has to choose between old friends and new -- and there's no time to lose...
Bill Wallace grew up in Oklahoma. Along with riding their horses, he and his friends enjoyed campouts and fishing trips. Toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories to scare one another, and catching fish was always fun.
One of the most memorable trips took place on the far side of Lake Lawtonka, at the base of Mt. Scott. He and his best friend, Gary, spent the day shooting shad with bow and arrows, cutting bank poles, and getting ready to go when their dads got home from work.
Although there was no "monster" in Lake Lawtonka, one night there was a "sneak attack" by a rather large catfish tail. Checking the bank poles was not nearly as fun or "free" after that point, but it was the inspiration for this story.
Bill Wallace has won nineteen children's state awards and been awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Children's Literature from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.