I've been waiting around for a long time to get started on this book., trying to decide about the Dedication. What with two boys belonging to me, I couldn't see how I could rightfully dedicate it to either one or both. Either way, the book would get torn up in fights.

Realizing about fights, and it would happen if I dedicated it to any of my boys' friends, it dawned on me that maybe a girl would be more fitting. But you see, I haven't any girl. There is a girl across the street, but she belongs to a whole lot of animals... eight new ones moved in with her yesterday.

Months have passed while I was waiting for the inspiration. Finally the other night at dinner, I heard them talking about a girl who lives out of town and has some sort of connection with my Boys, related some way, like collies are related to me. Seems this Girl is not nervous, not even about cats. Likes all kinds of animals and doesn't have more than a dozen living with her. I don't think a dog lives there. So that fits right in with me. Has a pretty name too. Barbara.

People call me Prince or Princess. I have a couple of real names, too. I hate to embarrass people, making them remember my real names, they really are tough ones to remember. One is Queen Elizabeth (E.R.), and the other is Eleanor Roosevelt. Beautiful names, aren't they? Good nommes de plumes, if you know what I mean. But these aren't plumes. They are names.

Also, I have a lot of nick-names, too: Crazy-Nut, Old-Dear, Ducky and Thousands more. The worst one for laughs, though, is Lassie. That sneezy-sounding name doubles me up every time. You should see these little tail-high tikes, all dressed up in red-rubber boots, rolling on the ground, doubled up laughing and screaming. "There's Lassie, nice Lassie, pretty Lassie, here Lassie." You should see them. Their mothers try to turn them off, but they really don't have to. I just give them a big grin and go along with the joke. A pretty good joke for such little tykes. It does sound sneezy, you've got to admit.

That sizes up the situation, so I guess we can get along with the Dedication.

I, Princess, Queen Elizabeth (E.R.), Eleanor Roosevelt, respectfully dedicat this book to:


(pretty name, isn't it!)

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