Call it a moo-vement of literary proportions.
On Thursday, March 22, Delaware County's newest author, Riley DuBois will present a reading from her book "Once Upon a Barn: The AutobiMOOgraphy of Puppy Cow" during a special event 5:30 p.m., at the Grove Public Library.
The event gives DuBois, a senior at Grove High School, a chance to read from the book, written from the perspective of Puppy Cow.
Puppy Cow was DuBois' first 4-H project animal. The pair met when DuBois was approximately 10-years-old. While she was first destined for the sale barn, Puppy Cow soon wormed her way into the DuBois family and found a permanent place on the farm.
DuBois said she began jotting down stories about Puppy at 10, as a way to remember her first calf.
"We didn't think we were going to keep her, and we wanted to remember all of the fun stuff [she did]," DuBois said, adding within the book are 21 different stories full of Puppy Cow's antics.
In 2017, as DuBois began preparing for this year's Oklahoma State 4-H Record Book competition, she decided to put those memories - about Puppy Cow and her first few years in 4-H - into a manuscript using Amazon's CreateSpace.
The book, geared for young readers, tells the story, in Puppy's voice of what happened after she arrived on the farm at three days old, until she began to have her first babies.
DuBois said it was compiled as a way to not only supplement her record book, but also give voice to the importance of 4-H and how it impacted her life as she took part in the dairy project.
DuBois hopes the book will give her project the edge it needs, to advance to the Level 2 award at the state competition. Last year's award earned her a $1,200 scholarship. If she earns Level 2 status, she'll earn an additional $1,200 towards her college fund.
It will also allow her to apply for additional scholarships, which she admits, are quite competitive.
"I like that it's written from Puppy's perspective," DuBois said, admitting she believes if Puppy Cow could talk, she would be a bit "sassy."
A few pictures, at the end of the book, document how both DuBois and Puppy Cow grew during the past seven years.
"There's a lot about 4-H in there," DuBois said. "I hope kids reading it think about 4-H as something they might do."
Behind the name
Initially, DuBois - following in the footsteps of Vira Yirsa - named her animals after things she planned to do with the money after their sale.
In the case of Puppy Cow, DuBois planned to buy an English Bulldog.
"When Vira wanted to buy furniture, she had her husband buy bottle calves," DuBois said. "So she named them after what she wanted, like recliner."
The thought, DuBois said, was if she named the calf for something she wanted, she would not get as attached to it.
"The system doesn't work," DuBois said, "but it was an easy way to come up with names. When I got a new calf, I thought, what do I want.
"It narrowed down the name pool."
After Puppy, DuBois named her calves Laptop, Kindle, iPad, Television (or Telly) and Hershey (as in Pennsylvania).
As she got older, a string of calves were named all beginning with the word "Car" ranging from Carson to Carlie, as she saved up to purchase her 2004 Volkswagen Beetle, now named Amanda.
As she neared college age, other calves followed with potential collegiate destinations including Vandy (for Vanderbilt), Amherst, Emory, Harvard, Baylor and Stanford.
Puppy Cow's offspring include Carson, Vanderbilt and Baylor.
More about DuBois
DuBois, 17, is the daughter of Gayle and Rick DuBois. She is a member of the Starr 4-H Club and one of two students recognized this year as an Outstanding 4-H member within Delaware County.
DuBois is still contemplating both her major and where she plans to attend college. Accepted to attend Oklahoma State University, she has also applied to attend Swarthmore College, in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Her degree choices range from interior design, theatre and music, to psychology, sociology and family/consumer science.
She's considering writing a second book, based on Willow - the puggle she purchased instead of selling Puppy Cow.
Willow, she said, loves to "help" in the kitchen. DuBois is considering creating "Willow's Cookbook" as a way to fill the pages with her favorite Willow stories and recipes.
One Thing with DuBois
One reason you like 4-H
4-H is the only program I have been a part of that has allowed me to embrace every side of myself at the same time. Most clubs focus on one area, but 4-H has let me show cattle, perform and take pictures all in one program. That makes 4-H feel very personal.
One thing 4-H has taught you
4-H has taught me how to fully dedicate myself to something. 4-H is never far from my mind and I always invest myself in whatever 4-H activity I’m participating in. I think this will help me to invest myself in future careers.
One person who inspires you
Kara Chandler. She may be younger than me, but her enthusiasm and her passion for 4-H and all it has to offer is contagious.
One book that has stuck with you
The Nancy Drew Series. Nancy is smart and resourceful, but also always kind. I aspire to be like her.
One thing you can't live without
Books, because fiction is better than real life.
If You Go
Riley DuBois will read from "Once Upon a Barn: The AutobiMOOgraphy of Puppy Cow" during the celebrity reading at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 22, at the Grove Public Library. The event is free and open to the public.
This will be DuBois' second reading from the book. She did a "video" reading of the first two chapters before spring break for students at Grove's Lower Elementary School.
DuBois has some copies of her book available locally. It may also be purchased online for $8, at Amazon.com
The Grove Public Library is located at 1140 NEO Loop, Grove. For more information, persons interested may call 918-786-2945.