The Thanksgiving Treasure by Gail Rock

“…because I had heard the story of Dad’s feud with Rehnquist more than once around home.  He was considered an archenemy of my family.  He had once hired my father to dig a pond in his far pasture.  My father went with his backhoe machine to do the job, and after it was finished, Rehnquist had only paid for half the job because the pond leaked.  My dad said it leaked because Rehnquist had insisted it be dug in the wrong place, and Rehnquist said it leaked because my father had done a bad job.”

Addie lives with her father and her grandmother in Nebraska during the 1940’s.  This is a delightful story about what happens  when Addie and her best friend, Carla Mae decide to follow their teacher’s advice about sharing Thanksgiving dinner with their enemy, Mr. Rehnquist.

The girls’ first encounter with the old man happens when they are out finding cattails and other natural items to make an artistic arrangement for their sixth grade teacher, Miss Thompson.  As they were out in the country, they got closer and closer to Mr. Rehnquist’s land.  The girls were scared of him, but to quote Addie, “I knew we shouldn’t be there, but my curiosity had been aroused, and I wasn’t going to be deterred by the mere threat of a horrible death.”

Addie has always wanted to have a horse, so when she sees a beautiful horse in Mr. Rehnquist’s pasture, she and Carla can’t resist going closer.  Mr. Rehnquist comes out toward them leveling his gun!

What happens is a beautiful story of how a brave girl’s persistence in befriending a crotchety old man turns into lesson for us all!!

This is a fairly old book, copyright 1974, but the message is still important.  Another book about Addie is “The House Without a Christmas Tree”.  It’s a good read, too.

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