When Rudy was eight it was decided that he would go and live with an uncle, where he could be put to better use and have better things. The journey would take some time.
Rudy said good-bye to all the animals who had been his friends. The dog told him that he could not change where he was at by barking. The cat said not to be scared of heights and he would not fall. The chickens also bid him farewell.
The journey was long, but beautiful. Rudy was able to see great blocks of ice that had come down from the mountains. There were little pools of water. Great stones teetered on the edge of things. Rudy saw some crevices; he had heard all about how he and his mother had been stuck in one once.
That night they camped in a small stone house that still stood. Horrible winds blew off the mountains. The two men accompanying Rudy told him about the ghostly sheep that lived in the mountains. They were black. A person could hear their bells, but not see any sheep.
The morning came and the band traveled onward. They saw cretins and Rudy came to his new home.
In this story a specific word is mentioned for the wind that blows over the mountains. This word is Fohn. It’s basically a wind that blows up from the sea and over the mountains, down to the other side. These winds bring warmer weather to areas that might not be so warm otherwise.
The group sees Cretins. Cretin is not a nice word and it actually describes a person with a congenital thyroid condition, which caused them to have goiters and appear not as smart as other people. We wouldn’t call anybody a Cretin today, we would say they had a thyroid problem.
Rudy leaves to go to a new home, but learns some valuable advice before he goes. He learns that he cannot change his life by barking and that he should not be scared of heights. These are both valuable lessons. The dog essentially tells him that complaining probably won’t change anything in his life. The cat tells him to be confident and confidence is half the battle.
It is sad how Rudy has to leave his grandfather, but perhaps there are better things for him.
Do you think Rudy will continue to be able to understand animals?
Do you think he will fare well at his uncle’s?