The Sparks family, salty old Peg Sparks, his wife Arn, and their 16-year-old son Sparkie lived in the Plum Grove Hills in a one room cabin. They don’t have a lot, but they would not turn a stray hound dog away from their door and certainly not a stray boy like pale, spindly Didway Hargis, who has run away from his wealthy home in town.
The boy from Greenwood, Did Hargis, and the boy from the Plum Grove Hills, Sparkie, become good friends. Did learns to love the life of the hill people as he becomes one of the Sparks family. He and Sparkie sleep in the hayloft, each with a hound-dog for warmth. At night they hunt foxes and possums, and Did learns the difference between the long, slow “trail bark” of the hounds, and the rapid, excited bark that means that the hound has treed a possum. By day the boys work the farm. Did becomes accustomed to the world of Plum Grove, and he comes to love the Sparks family and their neighbors, who are generous and kind. He grows strong, tanned, and happy.
But Did and Sparkie’s Appalachian Idyll is interrupted by a feud between the hill folk and a group of townsfolk, led by Did Hargis’ father, who comes to take Did home. A gala midnight cornshucking turns into a pitched battle in the Plum Grove hills.
By Jesse Stuart
COLLECTOR EDITIONS ARE AVAILABLE; PLEASE CONTACT THE JSF DIRECTLY