230126ind ChildrensBook

Author Dale Loomis, a retired school teacher in Narragansett, was recently inspired by the story of a three-legged goat named Peggy who befriended a pair of dogs and a horse in Narragansett and wrote a children’s book on the topics of friendship and hope called “Perfectly Precious Peggy." Loomis is pictured at left with Peggy and one of the dogs named Lyndie. At right is Peggy’s owner Kristen Hume and the horse named Stanley.

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — All of us at one time or another are three-legged goats.  

Here’s why.  If you happen to meet someone who is not the same as everyone else, treat them the way Cooper, Lyndie or Stanley would. Include them in all your fun. Otherwise, you may be missing out on a great friendship.

“The world needs to be kind and accepting of those who may be different,” said Dale Loomis, author of “Perfectly Precious Peggy,” a children’s book that includes those lines for the younger readers as much as for the adults reading to them.

Peggy is a three-legged goat, but is rejected at first because of her deformity. However, she is eventually welcomed by other animals on the farm — dogs Cooper and Lyndie and a horse named Stanley.

This children’s book, mimicking real life that spans ages, offers in its 18 pages of succinct words and cute pictures a touch-point message for children learning about understanding other people who may be different from them.

However, in this polarized world of flaming and rude social media posts, politics of distortion, disinformation and disparagement, it perhaps offers adult readers a reminder, too.

The story, which is based on a real birth of a three-legged goat on a farm in Narragansett, tells about how the goat sought out the companionship of other farm animals after some other natural alienation around the barnyard.

Dogs Cooper and Lyndie and Stanley the horse befriend the goat, sometimes with her sleeping with one of the dogs. She also plays with Stanley as well. There’s a camaraderie that develops among them all.

There’s also a closeness and a connection that Peggy was seeking — needed — and received from the other animals. An unmistakable resemblance to real life.

“It is a cute heartwarming story with a universal message, but particularly important for young ones who may deal with some challenges. Peggy is the perfect example of resilience and positivity.  It is a book geared to Social Emotional Learning,” said Loomis, a retired Narragansett School System science teacher.

“Nature has its way of throwing curve balls, sometimes with results that teach us about perspective, resilience, acceptance, and love.  In this instance, a baby goat (Peggy) was originally rejected by its confused mother and a little help was needed,” she said.

She said that the book is appropriate for children two through 10 years old. It also includes information about the reasons a mother farm animal would reject a newborn whose deformity is accepted, the history of a Nigerian Dwarf goat and goat raising.

As a newly retired science-agriculture teacher, Loomis said that she had been looking for a way to continue “reaching” children, and was working on a farm when this birth took place.

“I often thought about writing a children’s book, and the universe presented Peggy to me. This little goat was born with all the spunk and determination a newborn farm animal can possess,” she said.

“The story of Peggy illustrates a lesson in how attitude affects everything.  Animals can be great equalizers and can model for us approaches to life which can help us navigate difficult situations.” Loomis said.

The former teacher said she hopes the story instills courage in children who may be dealing with some form of struggle due to a disability, as well as a message to others to always remain kind and open-minded.

And the same goes for adults, too, she said.

To that point of bravery and overcoming difficulties, the book is dedicated to her former eighth-grade science student, Brendan Tierney, who has cerebral palsy.

“I have known him since he was a baby, had him as a student, and have watched him become a thriving adult. He was always my hero as he never let anything get in his way and he is a wonderful human being like so many of my former students,” she said.

The book is available through Amazon, Purple Cow in Wakefield and SunStruck Boutique in Narragansett.

Write to Bill Seymour, a freelance writer covering news and feature stories, at independent.southcountylife@gmail.com.

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