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Farmer Joe woke up at 5am ... as he did every morning. He got dressed in the same pair of light blue overalls and checkered shirt ... as he did every morning. Then Joe went to put on his straw hat ... as he did every morning, but this morning was different. To Farmer Joe's surprise, his hat was missing!
Joe ran around waving his hands and scratching his head in confusion, through all the rooms in the house looking for his hat. His screaming woke everything with ears up! MY HAT IS GONE! MY HAT IS GONE!! IT'S GONE, I TELL YOU!!!"
Bella awoke to the racket of her husband jumping all over the bedroom throwing things all over and making a huge mess. It was a funny sight, Bella thought to herself.
"What's the matter Joe?" Bella asked trying not to laugh at her husbands silly tantrum.
"MY HAT IS GONE! I left it right there on the hook and now it is GONE!"
After Farmer Joe calmed down, he realized he might have overreacted ... a little. So, he went about his day without his favorite hat and wore a little extra sunscreen for the bald spot on his head.
"First, I will get the hay wagon and load it up to feed the horses in the field," said Joe.
But when Joe got to the barn, to where he left the hay wagon the night before, he was shocked it was gone.
"MY WAGON IS GONE! IT'S GONE, I TELL YOU! IT'S MISSING ... CALL THE SHERIFF! CALL THE SHERIFF!! MY HAY WAGON IS GONE!!!"
Joe went screaming and running all over the farm looking for his hay wagon. The animals thought he was doing a new dance, so they started doing it too.
Where did the hat and the hay wagon disappear to? Who could have taken them?
Just then farmer Joe heard a ruckus coming from the house, so he ran into the kitchen where Bella had been baking pies.
"All my pies are gone," Bella told Joe sadly. Bella stood confused with the smell of the warm pies still lingering in the air. "A-apple pie ..., P-peach pie ..., and the R-r-rhubarb pies are all gone ... A-all gone. Even the red and white checkered table cloth I placed them on has disappeared too ... O'ho, A-all that work ... A-all my pies," cried Bella. "CALL THE SHERIFF!! CALL THE SHERIFF," Joe exclaimed while waving his hands in the air and scratching his head in confusion.
Bella asked her husband, "Why is there a thief among us? Who could it be?" Farmer Joe and his wife Bella were curious where all of their belongings were going?
That morning Joe worked without his hat and his little bald head got sunburned. As they both walked around the barnyard looking for any sign of the missing items, Farmer Joe looked at the orchard and realized all of the apples were picked clean off the trees ... and the pumpkins were all gone too. Both Bella and Joe were confused. Who would do this, and why?
Bella and Joe heard laughing and giggling from the big barn and ran over to see what was going on. All the animals were gone. No chickens, no pigs, no horses or sheep ... all gone! "CALL THE SHERIFF! CALL THE SHERIFF, ALL OF MY ANIMALS ARE MISSING! CALL THE SHERIFF," and so they did.
A few minutes later the Sheriff arrived. "Sheriff Malloy at your service. What can I do for you folks?"
"Well," said Farmer Joe, "First, my hat was missing. Second, the hay wagon was gone. Then my wife's pies and tablecloth disappeared; the apples and pumpkins vanished from the orchard, and now all of the animals are missing.
"Sounds like you folks have yourselves a very clever barnyard bandit," Sheriff Malloy observed. Joe and Bella threw their hands in the air and went screaming and running all over the farm, "NOT A BARNYARD BANDIT!!!"
Joe stopped short and asked, "What EXACTLY is a barnyard bandit and how do we get rid of it?"
"Well, a stakeout is the only way," replied Sheriff Malloy.
"What," said Joe, "We have to cook the Robber a Steak?"
"No," Bella explained to her husband, "We will have to sit up all night and watch and wait for the bandit to strike again. So we can catch him in the act!"
"Good Luck," said the Sheriff as he drove away.
So, that night Farmer Joe and Bella sat up all night waiting for the bandit to strike again. Do you know what they found? NOTHING! Both of them had fallen asleep during the night.
In the morning Farmer Joe and Bella awoke with all of their animals standing around and staring down at them. One of the pigs had Farmer Joe's hat on, all of the chickens and sheep were standing in the missing wagon, Hector the horse had the checkered tablecloth wrapped around his neck like a cape and most of the apples and pumpkins were piled up neatly in front of the barn.
But one thing was still missing ... all of the pies. Farmer Joe and Bella shook their heads in disbelief, laughed and decided to forgive and forget. "Some mysteries never get solved," said Bella, "and a little excitement is good for you." Both of them were happy it was over, and being very tired from the night before they decided to call it a day and they went back into the house as the animals licked their lips and giggled.
After all, life on the farm was good, nothing unusual ever happened here. It was quiet and peaceful. But who were the barnyard bandits and will they strike again?
Excerpted from Barnyard Bandits by Victoria St. George Copyright © 2011 by Victoria St. George. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted October 27, 2013
Posted August 2, 2012
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This book is very nice!
It is one of the only books I’ve seen that teaches the art of
forgiving and forgetting about Things!
Kids don’t learn that any more.
Posted April 13, 2011
As an educator, I search far and wide for valuable children's books. When I came across Barnyard Bandits, I was so excited, I had to buy a copy for my classroom. This book is a very entertaining tale with a fantastic cast of characters. The children will be enthralled as they read this book! I highly recommend this book for your personal library.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.