Mark Twain's Cat
After the death of his beloved wife, Samuel Clemens—known to his fans as Mark Twain—holed himself up in his house, too sad to face the outside world. His constant companion in his grief was Bambino, his daughter Clara’s cat. Despite the pleas of his daughter Jean and the well wishes of his friends and admirers, Sam could not find joy in life. His only peace was in the moments he spent with the curious cat.
Then one day Bambino got out of the house to chase a squirrel and didn’t come back. Distraught, Sam placed an ad in the newspaper offering a reward for Bambino’s return. Many people with many cats came to his door. The world wanted to cheer up Mark Twain. No cat but Bambino could console the great writer, however.
Rich, luminous illustrations highlight this friendship of a man and his cat in a time of great sorrow and through his healing. Nothing compares to the solace of a pet.
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“Papa,” said Jean, pulling her father back to the present. “A few of your friends have invited you to dinner.” Jean handed him an invitation from the pile of mail. “You should go.”
“No,” Sam said. “They’ll only expect me to be funny. And I’m not anymore.”
“Mother wouldn’t want you to shut yourself up in the house,” Jean said.
“Tell them I’m just too old and tired,” Sam said.
“But Papa . . .”
Sam hit the table with his fist. “I don’t want to see anyone!”
Jean and Katy exchanged a look.
“As you say, Mr. C.,” Katy said, dishing out the ice cream. Sam cleared his throat. “Since Clara can’t be with us, we’ll have her Bambino stand in for her,” he said, giving a saucer of ice cream to the cat.
Bambino rubbed his head against Sam’s hand, blinked his eyes, and then lapped up his treat.
Excerpted from "Bambino and Mr. Twain"
Copyright © 2012 P.I. Maltbie.
Excerpted by permission of Charlesbridge.
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