1. When I was just a baby, my mother put me in my carriage and wheeled it to a nice shady spot under the apple tree in our yard. When she checked on me a bit later, I had the fuzzy outer part of a caterpillar near my mouth but I’d apparently eaten the insides.
2. I broke the record for longest baby girl born in that hospital, but I don’t know how big I actually was nor whether I still hold that record.
3. Before I started drawing black horses, I drew lots of Appaloosas with spots on their rumps.
4. My best friend and I lived across a wide field from each other. Even when we were very young, (around three years old) our mothers would let us walk to meet in the middle and then we’d decide which house or barn we’d play in.
5. My sister was given an old strawberry roan horse named Tony when I was three years old . She pretended he was a mustang and wrote stories about him that she called “Tony Tales,” which she read aloud to me.
6. My brother had a crow for a pet, but it never learned to fly.
7. Near the beginning of second grade, I got sick with rheumatic fever and had to stay in bed for about six months. My mother had been a teacher, so she taught me and I didn’t have to stay back.
8. I wrote my first book when I was about seven or eight but my spelling was so “creative” it was impossible for anyone to read it.
9. When I was almost eight, I stood up on a chair to flap some big leaves I’d picked up in the woods. The chair tipped over, and my right arm was broken, so I had to use my left hand in third grade for about a month.
10. In junior high, I wrote in my diary, “Maybe someday I’ll make my own children’s books – illustrations and all.”
Me and my brother’s tractor.