22 January 2008

Freddy the pig, bicyclist

Posted by todd under: Recommended reading .

Freddy and JinxUPDATED and bumped:

Here’s further evidence of Freddy’s cycling prowess, via Kevin Parker from the Freddy the Pig Yahoo mailing list:

Dear Kevin:

My eight-year-old son Thomas would like to mention two other spectacular moments of Freddy on a bicycle. There is the scene in Freddy the Politician, where he crashes through the window of the bank (one of my personal favorite moments). And in Freddy and Simon the Dictator, Freddy slips while riding down the hill, leading a dog regiment in defense of the chickens (hiding in the pig pen). Perhaps the Kentucky bicyclists would like to consider these episodes too, but perhaps they prefer the more graceful moments!

Greetings,
Inger and Thomas Brodey

ORIGINAL POST:

Meet Freddy the pig, literature’s finest animal bicycle commuter.

Freddy lives on Mr. Bean’s farm with Jinx the cat, Mrs. Wiggins the cow, Charles the rooster, Uncle Solomon the owl, Theodore the bullfrog, Mr. and Mrs. Webb the spiders, and others.

Freddy taught himself to read, then taught many of the other animals to read, then realized there was nothing for them to read … so he started a newspaper. He plays on the high school football team, solves mysteries (often in disguise), runs for office and writes poetry.

It goes without saying that someone this well-rounded and intelligent would ride a bicycle!

“He had to go back and forth so much between Centerboro and the farm that he got out his old bicycle and oiled it up. His legs were too short to touch the pedals at the bottom of their swing, but he could push the bicycle up the hills and then coast down the other side, so that it was faster than walking. He lost a lot of weight in the first week or so and Mrs. Bean had to take in the waistband of his trousers three times.”

— Freddy Plays Football by Walter R. Brooks

In the picture above, from Freddy and the Dragon, Freddy (in disguise as Peppercorn Talcum) gives Jinx a ride on the handlebars. Thanks to Kevin Parker over at the Friends of Freddy site for permission to republish the picture. All you other Freddy fans out there, feel free to let us know other instances of the pig on two wheels.

There are 26 books in the Freddy series. It’s not the best-known children’s series, but it is one of the best. The frequently hilarious descriptions and dialog will please many an adult as well. Highly recommended.

Here is a New York Times article about the Freddy series; find out all about the series, its author and its fans here.

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About the picture atop the page

Yes, that's me, Todd Van Campen. No, I'm not wearing a helmet. Yes, I usually wear one, so please don't scold! Seriously, I endorse wearing a helmet! Pinky swear! In fact, I almost ALWAYS wear one (while riding a bike anyway). (On the other hand, if YOU don't want to wear a helmet, I have no problem with it.) I don't remember what happened on this particular day. Fortunately for all of us it makes for a less-nerdly picture. My exceptionally talented professional photographer friend Charles Bertram took this photo.

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Art for art’s sake

I asked my 6-year-old son, Caleb, an avid bicyclist and artist, to draw a bike for me. I think he did a great job!

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