Cowdog Babysitter: Charlie and the New Baby by Ree Drummond
MAMA IS RUBBING MY BELLY.
AHHHH! LIFE DOESN'T GET MUCH BETTER!
IT'S GOOD TO BE KING OF THE RANCH.
Charlie the Ranch Dog has it made in the shade--which is where he prefers to be in midday. He's petted, coddled, and doted upon properly, considering his regal status as senior cowdog.
But wait! Where is everybody going? What about the rest of that belly rub?
It seems that ranch work has intervened. Mama and the kids go off and quickly return carrying--a calf!
Charlie has never seen that happen in all his cowdog career. And would you ever....?
They take the weak little calf right into the shed and put it in---Charlie's own bed! And tuck him in warmly.
HEY! THAT'S MY BLANKET!
Mama and the kids bustle off and mix and stir up some stuff. They pour it into a big bottle and put a big nipple on it!
Charlie watches the little calf drink all his milk while listening to his own stomach rumbling. Nobody seems to notice. And then--the unkindest cut of all--Charlie has to sleep in the floor of the shed while the calf sleeps sweetly in Charlie's own bed!
But Charlie is abruptly awakened at dawn with the calf licking his face affectionately.
It's not so bad being a baby sitter, and soon Mama and the kids come in and congratulate Charlie on his caretaking, with a few belly rubs included.
It is all in a day's work for a diligent ranch dog in Ree Drummond's latest, Charlie and the New Baby (Charlie the Ranch Dog) (Harper, 2014). There are no surprises here for fans of the lazy but self-congratulatory canine hero of this series, but as always Diane deGroat's droll portrayal of Charlie's displacement anxiety flesh out this slender story with charm and good humor. Other books by "Pioneer Woman" Dee Drummond are Charlie the Ranch Dog Charlie and the Christmas Kitty (Charlie the Ranch Dog) and Charlie Goes to School (Charlie the Ranch Dog) and Drummond's and the I-Can-Read Charlie titles.