Sequel to The Trail of the Hunter’s Horn!
It doesn’t bother Jeb as much as it used to – his hound dog’s blind eye. Why, Mooneye can still track and tree coons despite his bad eye, and he’s a good tempered companion. But the other hunters still mock Mooneye for his blind eye and stub tail. They say any dog that looks so foolish could never amount to a pile of beans.
It’s hard, but Jeb tries to ignore the mean comments. And then one day he hears about a state championship dog hunt for hounds. If he were to enter Mooneye – and if Mooneye were to win – then surely no one could mock at him anymore! But will Grandma Quildy agree to let Jeb and Mooneye travel to the competition? And can Mooneye win, even when he is pitted against the best hunters in the state?
I enjoyed The Mooneyed Hound more than The Trail of the Hunter’s Horn. For one thing, it ends on a much more upbeat note – whereas The Trail ended with a bloody fight with a wildcat, The Hound ends with the triumph of a successfully won championship. Whereas The Trail felt as though it ended right when it had just begun, The Hound felt more complete.
As I mentioned in The Trail of the Hunter’s Horn, it is obvious that Mr. Clark has lived what he writes. The loving attention that is given to sketching the towering hills and lumbering trees – the whish of the wind through the leaves and the timbre of the baying hound – could only be born through the actual experience of them. They create a definite presence that enveloped me as I read this story.
I felt that Jeb’s relationship with Grandma Quildy was improved in this story – Jeb had matured and experienced real pain, and thus was able to appreciate Grandma Quildy’s input more. Also, both of their perspectives regarding God and the Bible were a little more balanced, although there was still some superstition involved. Jeb prays often regarding the safety and success of his hound, and he believes that God will bless his faith.
There is a certain degree of hunting violence – nothing gritty – and one very emotional scene towards the middle of the book after Mooneye has been injured by a tough old coon. I’ll admit without compunction that my eyes watered.
The legend of the mooneye is repeated here to remind us of what was said in The Trail of the Hunter’s Horn.
Conclusion. A good story of a dog and his hound.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret