Vermont Folklife Center

Willem Lange
Paintings by Bert Dodson
Hardcover, 32 pages, illustrated
U.S. $14.95, Can. $23.95

man walking with horse

About this Story

On a crisp November day, work for the logger, John, and his trusty horse, Tom, goes smoothly, until suddenly disaster strikes. As John cuts through the trunk of a big pine tree, the tree falls unexpectedly, pinning John’s foot to the ground. He’s stuck, and night is falling. Tom is tied nearby, but can the faithful horse unhitch himself and help?

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John Messier

About the Storyteller

John Messier of West Brookfield, Vermont, always loved horses. He worked with Morgans as he was growing up—farming, logging and sugaring—and continued to be involved with horses all his life. John and Tom is based on a true story from the 1950’s, of John Messier’s experience in the woods with a wonderful Morgan horse named Tom. John Messier passed away on March 6, 2004.

In 1988, John told this and other stories about his life to Gregory Sharrow, a folklorist for the Vermont Folklife Center.

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horse in stable

About the Author

Willem Lange has published two collections of short stories, Okay, Let’s Try It Again and Tales from the Edge of the Woods. A regular commentator on both Vermont Public Radio and Vermont Public Television, he received a 2000 Emmy nomination for his TV commentaries. Mr. Lange lives with his wife in Etna, New Hampshire.

About the Illustrator

Bert Dodson is the author and illustrator of the best-selling learn-to-draw classic, Keys to Drawing. He has also illustrated numerous children’s books, including Supergrandpa, Buffalo Thunder and several volumes of the American Adventure Series. Mr. Dodson lives in Bradford, Vermont.

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