Saturday, June 8, 2013

Silverville Saga Petting Zoo

Silverville is full of critters.

The stories feature, with some prominence, an assortment of dogs, cats, and horses as well as buffalo, chickens, pigs and -- well all sorts of  folks feathered, furried, or otherwise!

No wonder, since Kym-n-Mark have a long history of close associations with animals -- and even way back before "Kym-n-Mark," when it was just Kym and just Mark.

Kym grew up on a Minnesota horse farm, training weanlings and one-year-olds for the arena and, eventually, competing with the older horses in gymkhana, barrel-racing, and jumping. When she didn't have a horse in hand or under saddle, she usually wandered around with a kitty in her arms. (She's always had a soft spot in her head for cats.)

Mark's not much better. He also grew up with horses, but the soft spot in his head didn't develop until he started collecting dogs -- exponentially. First there was one, then two, then four, then eight, and eventually 30. No, not a puppy mill: Mark had a sled dog kennel.

When Kym-n-Mark got together, the hers-his-theirs menagerie was definitely destined to live in the country.

Those glory days are over, and they now only have a dozen assorted critters (well, maybe a few more now and then).

But with so many animals in their personal lives, KnM were bound to find room for a few animals in the Silverville Saga. And most live double lives -- one at home in Doyleville, Colorado, and the other in Silverville.

Everyone who's read Little Greed Men knows that the speckled cow dog named Portia has an important role. That's her stage name. The real dog is called "Porsche," after the car. (The kids were into cars at the time and wanted to spell it that way. At least they didn't suggest Lamborghini).


Same for Grady's trusty mount, Ol' Moss, who has featured roles in Little Greed Men and All Plucked Up. Yep, based on a very feisty horse named "Belle." And yes, just as described in the book, that ornery horse did strike at an electrified fence the first time she touched it.

The chickens in APU are courtesy of their daughter's coup, laying eggs a plenty, and Chantale's buffalo, Tatanka,in LGM, is courtesy of their experiences with a neighbor's exotic beef operation a little ways down the road. (But that's another story.)

In the third book in the series, The Magicke Outhouse, a different neighbor's "house pig" (named Breakfast) gets a leading role (decided to keep the name this time – just couldn’t top it!)

The list could go on, but you get the idea. So many animals, so few pages to write them all in.

Silverville *is* full of critters, just like Kym-n-Mark's own lives. And if the Silverville Saga has a cast of significant characters, the most significant personally are those that come from their own private petting zoo.

(For information on all the Silverville Saga books, visit our official Website.)