Hamann, Denny. “Denny’s Fable: A Love Story Between a Grumpy Old Man and a Little Mouse”, with illustrations by Steven Hempel, Create Space, 2014.
A Grumpy Old Man Loves
We have all known grumpy old men but I am pretty sure that many of us have not taken the time to get to know them and perhaps understand why they are grumpy. Sometimes that is what it takes to see a grumpy old man became a nice guy. In “Denny’s Fable” we meet a grumpy old man who never had many friends and who was not happy with his life. Because he saw little joy in his future, he complained a lot— it seemed that nothing was right or good enough for him. Then one day, he met a field mouse and the two were able to converse and believe it or not that little mouse shows that grumpy old man “everything he could ever want . . everything in the world that little field mouse called home.
Okay, okay, you are asking why am I reviewing a book about a mouse? Look Aesop wrote all kinds of stories about animals and we learned a great deal from him so why not read something more modern that has reference to the way we live today. As I said we all know grumpy old men and wouldn’t be nice to do something for them so they can smile once in a while? After all, we all want to be loved. Here we can learn about not just what love is but what it can be. It is comforting to know that we are accepted and share our feelings with others and if it takes a field mouse to teach us that, so be it. We learn here that it is not hard to find love, we just need to know where to look. This mouse is innocent and he can teach us again and again.
This is a story about changing and transformation—-here both the mouse and the man learn something as they go on a journey together. I love this book and plan to go back to it whenever I meet someone who is lonely and when I feel alone. It is all about growing and Denny Hamann helps us grow. He did so with his beautiful book, “Purple Grass” and he does so again with “Denny’s Fable”. It takes a good writer and a good story to make my eyes fill with tears and that happened here several times. The ending really got to me. But in those tears, I found the ability to love something or someone I had not considered before and so it is all worthwhile.