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Sam Gribley is a city boy who runs away to live alone in the Catskill mountains. He has read some survival skill books, but he has never done anything like this on his own. He left all of his family members behind in New York City. It was probably only natural that he would give names to some of the animals he encountered most often. Frightful became his trained falcon. The Baron was a weasel who seemed to think he owned the woods. Jessie Coon James was a raccoon who liked to steal food but who could dig up mussels in the stream for Sam. The chattering chickadees were Mr. Bracket, Mrs. O’Brien, Mrs. Callaway, and Mrs. Federico. Barometer was a nuthatch. By giving them names, Sam felt as if he was surrounded by friends. He felt less alone … even though he was living by himself.

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