The Ballad of Toby and Lark
A Cat Fantasy
Trade paperback original
64 pages $10.00
For an autographed copy, call John at (800) 662-8351
What wouldnt you do to win the heart of the one you love the most?
Toby is a simple farm boy, and Lark is the gardener he loves. Lark loves a handsome cat, also named Toby. Toby and Toby are much alike. In fact.
Set in an unnamed preindustrial society, this is the story of a shy young fellow named Toby, whos in love with his neighbor, a gardener named Lark. Alas, Lark, whos twice Tobys age, is wooed and won by Tobys abusive Uncle Pewter.
Broken-hearted, Toby takes his troubles to Mistress Mangle, a witch in the woods, and she turns him into a proud and handsome cat. In his new fur tuxedo coat, Toby returns to the village and to Larks farm, where she takes him in and names him Toby, after the friend who disappeared.
Pewter has no use for cats. He kicks poor Toby out into the midst of winter, and so the cat returns to Mistress Mangle, where, with the help of a flirtatious female cat named Vixen, they plot their revenge. Another metamorphosis, a rollicking party, and a chase in the night, followed by another broken heart.
All works out in the end: Toby (the cat) is reunited with Lark. By that time Lark has taken a new partner, a man named Tom, and Toby comes to love him as well.
The story is told in informal verse. The language has the playfulness of a kitten and the dignity of a cat. The book is illustrated throughout with black and white renderings of heroes, heroines and villains, houses and farms, country lanes and wildwoods, and cats, cats, cats.
John M. Daniel is a freelance editor and writer. He has published dozens of stories in literary magazines and is the author of nine books, including a two mystery novels published by Poisoned Pen Press. He teaches creative writing through Adult Education and has been a member of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference faculty for almost twenty years. He and his wife, Susan, a gardener, live in Humboldt County, California, with their wise cat companion, Warren.
See illustrations from Toby and Lark!