Billy the Bonsai Bull
Genre: Tween Chapter Book
Release: February 3, 2012
Editor: Anne Duguid
Line editor: Nancy Bell
Cover Designer: Kaytalin Platt
Billy the Bonsai Bull is an Australian true story told from the little bull's point of view.
Billy is a stubborn, orphaned calf who is losing the battle to survive. Hope revives in an unexpected way, through the milk bottle he detests, and brings him a sense of belonging. However, it takes more than a place in the pecking order for this little white bull to thrive. It takes a miracle.
The calf padded forward. He looked into his mother’s face and mooed softly. Her glazed, weepy eyes no longer focused on his. He nibbled on her ear. She didn’t stir.
The farmer’s wife sighed and reached forward to pat his head. “Come on, little bull. I’ll get you a nice warm drink. What do you think of that?” His hair bristled. Without his mother’s protection, he didn’t feel comfortable with these people. He darted away to the safety of a gum tree.
“This calf will be harder for you to rear than mothering a newborn,” the farmer warned his wife. “This one’s had the real thing for three weeks.”
“Maybe, but you’ll have to help me get a collar and lead on it. After that, how hard can it be? Besides, I must succeed. I promised Misty.”
The little bull waited till they walked up the hill and out of sight. He ventured out from behind the tree trunk and settled on a patch of dirt inside the hawthorn bush a short distance from where his mother lay. In his cave-like shelter he dozed, until a sudden, terrifying pressure on his ribs woke him.
The farmer’s knee pinned him to the ground. He squirmed and wriggled to his feet, kicking defiantly with his hind legs, but the farmer held him fast. The wife approached with a thin orange strap and secured the collar around his little neck. She picked up a bottle filled with a strange white liquid and pushed its rubber teat into his mouth. The teat smelled like the black boots on her feet. He eased it out with his tongue. She tried again. With her free hand she continually scratched his throat. He had to swallow. Then he gagged and struggled and spat and stamped on the woman’s foot.
She laughed and hugged him. “In spite of your tiny body and cute little face, you’re such a stubborn beast. You behave like a goat. A Billy goat! That’s what I’ll name you.” She stood and tugged on the lead. “Come on Billy, it’s me or nothing.”
About the Author:
An Australian, born in the city and raised in the country, Wendy worked in hospitals as a registered nurse and later raised beef cattle on her property in the Southern Highlands, NSW. She graduated from the University of New England with a BA in English Literature and Classical Literature in translation.
Mother of two, Wendy lives by the sea with her husband, Teobald, and enjoys long walks on the beach with Spitzli, their Mini Schnauzer. When she's not writing, Wendy likes reading, dressmaking and travel. Her trips to Wilhem Tell's birthplace in Switzerland sparked her interest in the legend. This developed into her novel, The Unhewn Stone, which redefines the legend.
Also by Wendy Laharnar: