The Ballad of Wilbur and the Moose
Random House, 2008 (1989)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
his is a reissued and revised edition of John Stadler's acclaimed
Ballad of Wilbur and the Moose
, originally published in 1989. It's a tale (told in rollicking verse and amusingly illustrated) of '
surely the weirdest cowboy / That ever hit the trail.
hiskers sings the wacky ballad on his old banjo to cowboys - and their equally attentive horses - clustered around a fire: '
His name was Wilbur Little, / And he always drank lime juice. / He herded pigs for a living / And rode a big blue moose.
' The moose, it turns out, is a heavyweight boxer named Alvin who teamed up with Wilbur while hitchhiking west.
ogether, they collect pigs - a reader, a singer, a cook, and ten more won from a gambler (he's a sore loser). '
They found more pigs along the way / And offered each the job / Of walking round and oinking / And eating like a slob.
' When the villain of the piece invades their hog Eden with pig-rustlers, it's Wilbur, Alvin - and a cascade of lime juice - to the rescue!
he Ballad of Wilbur and the Moose
is wild, wacky fun. Kids of all ages will celebrate its rescue from obscurity - and its pugnacious ending.
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