(Dove Creek Press, 1998), hb., 162 pp.
This is a truly amazing book! It relates one of those stories which make me think, â€œWhy have I never heard of this before?â€ For sheer remarkableness and fun it deserves a wide circulation.
The author, Alta Abernathy, is the wife of Temple Abernathy who is the â€œMeâ€ of the bookâ€™s title. Mrs. Abernathy has put in print the story as told by her husband, and we are deeply in her debt for doing so. The story then comes from the first person perspective of â€˜Tempâ€™ Abernathy as he describes the incredible but true adventures that he and his brother â€˜Budâ€™ (Louis) had. The touching dedication of the book captures well the spirit of the book. Mrs. Abernathy writes:
Temple, and his brother, Louis, who had
more excitement and adventure in
the short span of four years than most
little boys have during a lifetime.
This amazing story just left us shaking our heads repeatedly. The matter-of-factness of the boys reporting, their clear faith and their grit were impressive. When 5 year old Temp asked his 9 year old brother, on the first trip, if they would encounter any scorpions, Bud just replied, â€œKeep your boots on.â€ Nine year old Temp carried the rifle on their trip and used it well when they were surrounded by coyotes one night. The boys slept through snow storms, forded rivers, encountered bandits (ones who had recently been in a gunfight with their father who was a marshall), lost their horses in a desert, and had many other adventures. The inclusion of a number of photos helps you really grasp that these were little boys doing all these things.
One might wonder what sort of parents allowed such things. Their mother had died, and their father was famous for catching wolves bare-handed- which led to him becoming a friend of Teddy Roosevelt. When they planned their first journey (completely on their own initiative, setting up late studying their fatherâ€™s maps), they simply saw themselves as following their fatherâ€™s example. Wow! Oh, to be such an example of boldness and daring.
Reading this book was a real treat. We all enjoyed it, and I think it challenged my boys to take initiative. It challenged me all the more to be sure to encourage my boys to be bold. There is a right level of protection, but if it is overplayed it can be emasculating. The balance can be difficult, but I want to affirm my boysâ€™ attempts in this direction. It was also good to see the clear faith of these boys along the way. There was no concerted effort to share the gospel in the book, but it became clear that faith in Christ was simply part of the way of life of this family as they took their New Testament with them and interacted with others along the way.
Read this book and be amazed, encouraged and challenged.