Dr. Qooz, Father of Reading,
is world renown for the telling of children’s stories elaborately illustrated in children’s picture books.
Dr. Qooz was raised in the Everglades quoting a famous passage by Dad,
“I wasn’t raised, I was laid on a stump as a buzzard egg, hatched by the arching sun and jerked up by the hair of my head by a passing she-bear!”
A little boy with no world exposure would sit like a sponge while his grandpa retold the stories that he had heard as a child from the living soldiers of the Civil War…
A great uncle spun tales wildly of British Columbia, gold prospecting and the 3 month trek through the wilderness back to civilization eating bird eggs, and snakes to stay alive, after his canoe overturned and sank on the Frazer River…
The boy’s next door neighbor had the grizzly bear’s foot as an ashtray that nearly devoured him on his trip to the Rocky Mountains in Montana…
But the Nobel Prize for ‘Spinning the Best Yarn’ always went to Daddy!
‘The Legend of ole Sloughfoot’
“Ole Sloughfoot was crossing ‘Slow Walk Prairie’ (that was so boggy that a buzzard’s shadow would bog down as it flew overhead), when we met ‘eye to nose’!
Now Ole Sloughfoot was an old boar bear that raided every hunting camp from Royal Palm Hammock south of 41 to Fish Eating Creek north of the Caloosahatchee River. He was dangerous, he had been shot numerous times, trapped once when he tore off part of his foot, and always welled up to vent his anger on the interlopers that dared tread on his sacred Glades. Sloughfoot’s pursuers waxed and waned every weekend.
Hunting dogs had chased Sloughfoot for miles, days and counties only to return clawed, bitten and sore footed. Sloughfoot was FEARLESS, and never backed down from any form of adversity, man or beast.
This day was homogenously blending into an average day in the woods…
The rattlesnake made his presence known long before I traversed the palmetto Island, reverberating his warning with every step, I soft shoed on, creeping as silently as I could between the rattle of the snake and the clatter of palmetto leaves.
Finally… The water was only 4 inches deep allowing me to creep forward totally silent. Years of hunting the south Everglades had never even afforded me a glimpse of a shaking branch of any bear let alone ‘ole Sloughfoot’. And then I saw it! A bear paw print as wide as my foot was long. The path had been used long enough to be a muddy trail, the pungent odor of ole Sloughfoot was enough to gag a maggot. I knew I had ole Sloughfoot right where I wanted him, bedded up in his home! The trail grew lower, only 5 foot tall and the sidebrush had broken twigs on both sides. The stench was so bad I wanted to vomit but I didn’t want the old he-bear to know I was coming so I suffered and continued on. The overhead brush draped over me as I walked and crawled further. As the veil of brush wrapped me like a blanket, the eerie silence became so loud I stopped, knowing I was close, I peeked ahead. I crept slowly forward, moving each branch like the page of a book only to reveal another branch. I thought I heard a breath,… its only me and my pounding heart.
And then it happened, it was almost dark, but I could see rays of light getting brighter in the hole I was opening…
Slowly I lifted the dense leaved branch, parted the leaves and there within inches was wall to wall, edge to edge, path full of Ole Sloughfoot portrait, he bellowed a woof, spitting in my face as I spewed the held back vomit in his eyes. The wailing, thrashing, crying, whining and screaming that transcended Devil’s Garden, Bull Yearling Slough, bouncing off the Fakahatchee Strand and echoed down the River of Grass is still recounted today as one of the ‘strangest sounds’ ever heard by man as the harmony of sounds etched in the listener’s memory faded away…
and that is how I come ‘eye to nose’ to ole Sloughfoot.”
The little boy cried out in anxiety, “But Daddy what happened?”
“He kilt me of course!” Daddy grinned.
“Oh Dad, really, what happened?” the boy quizzed further.
“Ole Sloughfoot was FEARLESS you know…but I SCARED him so Bad he has never been seen or heard of again, in the Everglades, to this day!” Daddy boastfully announced.
The raw essence of glades beauty was the endearing definition of ‘home’ until it was ravaged by real estate developers, interlopers and trash blown in polluting the delicate ecosystem of the last tropical forest on the North American continent.
Story telling has been the only dependable record of family for thousands of years. As a child Dr. Qooz sat as close to the story teller as possible, to catch the vibrations, perspiration and generation of a yarn so real that no one dared question the validity or origin of the tale that kept the audience spell bound and yearning for more.
Dr. Qooz, an elucidator of #1 best seller Children’s Books, burst on the scene among thousands of other authors of kid’s books. 2018 was a good year for writing children’s books. Forty three thousand new books were published that year. Who Are You and Where Are We are two books of that vintage and Dr. Qooz’ first two children’s books.