Title: The Curse of the Incredible Priceless CorncobThe-Curse-of-the-Incredible-Priceless-Corncob1
Author: John R. Erickson
Pages: 127
Reading Level: 10 & up
Star Rating: Undetermined

Rarf! Rarf!

The Story.

That Drover. He’s always waking Hank up in the middle of the night from his well-deserved, hard-earned, and few-and-far-between rests to ask questions. Dumb questions. BORING questions. And, of course, Hank knows the answers to perty near all of them (that was humility you just read right there), but that’s no reason for Drover to presume upon his superior intelligence and pester him all night.

But that’s only the beginning of a tough morning for Hank. When Sally May brings out the dinner scraps, she has nothing but corncobs for Hank and Drover. CORNCOBS? Who wants corncobs for breakfast? Really.

Well, it turns out that Pete the Barncat wants them. And since Pete wants them, Hank doesn’t want him to have them. The bigger the fight Pete puts up, the more suspicious Hank becomes.  Why is Pete getting so possessive over these corncobs? They must be…… VALUABLE!

Now that Hank is a millionaire (he figures his corncob is worth at least that much), he decides it’s time to see something of the world. So, he resigns from his job at the ranch and begins his travels. But when Drover is captured by the ruthless coyotes and the sacrifice of his priceless corncob is the only way to save Drover from being murdered, will Hank’s moral or greedy nature come out on top?

Funny Quotes.

Hank has just decided that it’s time to ditch the ranch and his less-than-exalting companions when he gets a feeling….

I hadn’t gone more than, oh, a quarter mile when I got the feeling that I was being followed. I glanced around and, sure enough, there was Little Drover behind me, huffing and puffing to catch up.

I didn’t bother to slow down. Why should I? I had important things on my mind. Nevertheless, he caught up with me.

“Hi, Hank, where you going?”

“I han’t halk wuff iss horn hob ing eye owff.”

“Oh. Well, I was headed that way myself. I guess we might as well go together.”

“I han’t halk wuff iss horn hob ing eye owff, you unce!”

“Thanks. You look pretty good yourself.”

I stopped and placed my Priceless Corncob on the ground. “I said, I can’t talk with this corncob in my mouth, you dunce.”

He stared at me and twisted his head. “What corncob? I thought you just took it out of your mouth.”

“I did just take it out.”

“Oh. Then why can’t you talk to me?”

“I am talking to you!”

“Oh. I thought you were, but then you said …”

“Never mind what I said! Where do you think you’re going?”

“Who me? I don’t know, just tagging along. Where do you think you’re going?”

“I’m going to a restort community where I can sit in the sun and enjoy my wealth.”

“What a coincidence! That’s where I’m going too.”

“Oh no you’re not. In the first place, I travel light and alone. In the second place, I don’t want to be responsible for a mental invalid.”

“So far, we agree on everything.”

“In the third place, I shouldn’t even be talking to you. I have my social position to think about now.”

“Okay, you think about that and I’ll think about the clouds, and then we’ll all have something to think about and that’ll make the trip seem shorter.”

I could only shake my head in wondermentation. “You missed the whole point, Drover, but that’s nothing new.”

“No, but that doesn’t make it any less old.”

“I can’t take you with me, do you understand that? Someone might think we were friends.”

“Don’t worry about it, Hank. That’s what friends are for.”

“No! you can’t go, period!” His head began to sink and he got that pitiful look in his eyes. I guess I’m a sucker for pitiful looks. “Unless …” His head came up. “Unless you would consider going alone as my valet.”

All at once he was jumping up and down. “Oh sure, Hank, that would be just fine! I don’t know much about dancing but I can sure learn.”

“All right. The main thing is, you have to follow orders and address me as ‘Your Lordship.’”

“Sure. I can do that, Hank.”

“Your Lordship.”

“Oh, you can just call me Drover, I don’t mind, just plain old Drover.”

“That’s what I said, you cretin.”

“Oh. I thought you called me Your Lordship.”

“No, that’s what you call ME.”

“I thought I called you Hank.”

“You did, you nincompoop, but you’re supposed to address me as Your Lordship.”

“My Lordship?”

“No, YOUR Lordship!”

“That’s what I said. I thought that’s what I said. What did I say?”

“When?”

“Right before you said what you said.”

“What did I say?”

“You called me a cretin. What’s a cretin?”

“Who cares what a cretin is?”

“Not me, I can tell you that.”

“Then quit asking stupid questions! You’re my valet and … by the way, what was that stuff you said about dancing?”

“Me? I didn’t say anything about dancing.”

“You did say something about dancing. Don’t deny it.”

“Okay, I won’t deny it.”

I waited. “Well? Why did you bring up dancing?”

“Who me? I didn’t … oh yeah, maybe I did, I sure did, but I don’t think I ought to tell you.”

“Tell me, and be quick about it.”

“Oh rats. Okay. Well Hank …”

“Your Lordship.”

“Just call me Drover.”

“GET TO THE POINT ABOUT DANCING!”

“Well … I want to be your valet but I don’t know much about dancing.”

I studied the runt for a long time, searching for signs of intelligent life. I didn’t find any. “All right, Drover, I give up. Tell me what being a valet has to do with dancing.”

“I don’t know. I’ve just heard about valet dancing …”

“Drover,” I moved closer and looked deeply into his eyes, “is this a pathetic attempt to be funny? Are you trying to make jokes or are you merely wasting my valuable time?”

“Which would you rather?”

Suddenly I felt exhausted, as though I had been walking for ten days through quicksand. “Never mind. Pick up my Priceless Corncob and let’s get out of here.”

He did, and we moved out, heading north toward the caprock. “Now, one last time, Drover, do you understand your job?”

“I han’t halk wuff wis horn hob ing eye outh.”

“No thanks, not until we reach our destination, but I appreciate your job?”

“I han’t halk wuff wis horn hob ing eye outh, you unce.”

“Very good. At last we understand one another. Communication, Drover, that’s what this life is all about.” [pg. 96-100]

I flew out of the pickup like an arrow on its way to the target, hit the ground running, and went into what we call the Pre-Gather Barkeration Mode. Behind the complex technical language lies a simple truth, which is that a lot of times you can accomplish your primary objective with a stern barking.” [pg. 63]

Cautions.

One of the benefits Hank mentions of being rich is having “the women falling all over you”. [pg. 32]

Hank has an interview with Missy Coyote in which he falls all over himself out of love for her and sings her a romantic song called ‘My Heart Goes Wild for You’.

‘Gosh’, ‘derned’, ‘gee’, ‘shuckins’, ‘heck’, ‘shucks’, ‘son of a gun’, ‘dadgum’, ‘holy cats’, ‘darn’, ‘danged’, and ‘holy smokes’ are used frequently. Some name-calling is indulged in, but no vulgarity.

Conclusion. I, as a young adult, enjoy reading Hank the Cowdog. I find it offers me perspective and relaxation when I’m stressed, and, because of my age, I am able to enjoy the humor and leave the silliness behind. However, I do not believe that young readers will be able to read Hank the Cowdog without being encouraged in silliness and sarcasm. For this reason, I do not recommend Hank the Cowdog for young readers, while reserving the right to enjoy it myself.

Note: This is of a review of The Curse of the Incredible Priceless Corncob, not the entire Hank the Cowdog series. Click here to read more Hank reviews.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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