Children's book inspired by real runaway cow

Published: Jan. 4, 2019 at 6:26 PM EST
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It's safe to say that Huck has a mischievous side. The 1-year-old American Devon cow lives at the Billings Farm and Museum.

When he first arrived as a newborn calf with his brother, Fynn, Huck had a mind of his own.

"He went running out through the back gate, jumped through the fences. Then a bunch of kids started running after him to catch him up by the orchards," said Chuck Deome, the farm manager.

And there was no catching the rare steer. Huck was on the lamb.

"Naturally, being an animal lover, I said, 'Chief, I got this,'" Woodstock Police Ofc. Jessica Ryan-LeBlanc said.

Police were dispatched and calls started coming in from all over town.

"You know, just concerned citizens were like, uh, there's a cow going down River Street," Ryan-LeBlanc said.

The next day, a bit to everyone's surprise, Huck made his way back to the farm. Deome says the animal likely heard heifers calling from the pasture.

"Then the guys in the barn saw him and come out and cornered him out there," Deome said.

That's when Kristina Rodanas comes into the story.

"I read it in the paper," she said.

The children's book author immediately realized Huck's tale must be told.

"The whole town was looking for him and amazing, miraculously, he had found his way back," Rodanas said.

She says of the 25 children's books she has produced, "Huck's Way Home" is her favorite.

"It's about finding your way home, which we are all trying to do at some point," she said. "And it's about being strong and thinking your way through a problem."

Both Huck and Fynn are working steer at the farm, putting on regular demonstrations for visitors. Apparently, Fynn is the naughty one now. Maybe acting out because Huck stole the spotlight?

"It made him famous. He's happy, he'll live forever," Deome said.

The farm manager is also one of the characters in the book.

"We got Chuck for not picking up the droppings... No there were no fines," Ryan-LeBlanc joked.

A story inspired by an animal who's back home where he belongs.

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