I, like Winnie the Pooh, grew up on a 100 acre wood in upstate New York near Syracuse; as they say, you can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy. Because, years and years after leaving the farm, I moved to Montana, back to the country, this time with the great Yellowstone River roaring past my back door. I was once again living the simple life with a wood burning stove and miles and miles of dirt roads. It felt good to be communing with the flora and fauna.
I don’t know where The name Dondobee came from; one day; while walking along the river it just came to me it was just there in my head, perhaps it was an elf whispering in my ear saying; “Hello my name is Dondobee.” I imagined him to be an elf because it just so happened I was living with an elf named Leo; Rhoda’s grandson, a wizened little boy wise beyond his years who announced that he would one day be president. I thought it was quite possible that Leo himself was the leader of a clan of elves called the Leolians; a very magical clan indeed.
The Leolians are very clever; who knows who is who in their world? Rhoda, Leo’s real grandmother, could be Rodo, Dondobee’s mother, and Queen Maudrina could be his sister Maud and Princess Ponella could be two people, his sisters Lucy and, once she came to her senses, Nelly. You see Leo’s grandfather on his dad’s side of the family was called Pony and some people thought Lucy was just like him so they called her Ponella, little Pony. Just so you know, those are all the grandchildren of my Wellesley girl. My Vassar girl’s progeny, my children; Juliet, Beth, William and James you meet in a variety of ways as the story goes along.
I and King Coal in my book have a minor connection. I once had to wear black theatrical makeup on my face to portray a coal delivery man in a stage play I was in with Mariette Hartley at UNLV.
So I know what it is like to be covered in soot. I have to say I had a fun time writing this story about DONDOBEE I hope you will enjoy reading it.