It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Here I am with my sister Susan, who initiated my love of books by reading aloud from The Secret Horse. We're Soup and Salad. I now live on a farm near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with my husband Mark, three dogs, two horses, and six barn kitties. Besides being a constant gardener I am reading all the time and writing quite a bit. www.amazon.com/author/sallypfoutz
With beautiful illustrations by Doris Weeks, Wolf on the Run tells the story of a young wolf, Nikita, who runs 40 miles in all directions, exploring and searching for friends, only to find that creatures are afraid of her and humans point guns at her. As she runs by, birds of all kinds react: trumpeter swans sound the alarm, pelicans hit the water, falcons watch her with interest, finding her behavior to be quite odd, and a raven flies down to her side and asks her, what is wrong? She tells the raven that she does not want to be a wolf because wolves are mean. The raven reminds her of her beautiful protective mother and her fearless father. Then old black wolf comes by and tells Nikita the history of wolves and he says, wolves are not mean, child, they are wild. www.amazon.com/dp/1549689282
On a hillside, dreaming, as the sun rose in the sky, a sister and brother and their granddad, imagine wild animals they could be: zebras running with the herd; a cheetah, whose leaping quick strength dazzled the forest like a fiery rocket; songbirds, a seagull, a great blue heron; a lion, and a Bengal tiger, and finally smooth fish, lovely fish, snazzy, dazzling trout fish. Most of the animals so magnificently illustrated by painter, Doris Weeks, are endangered, or suffering loss of habitat.
Missing Person is now available as an ebook and newly released paperback.
Also available, a newly released edition of Red-tail. www.amazon.com/Red-tail-Sally-Pfoutz/dp/1521725292
A murder mystery buried within a tale of lust and love, revenge and redemption, Red-tail illustrates how life turns on a dime. Yet it's possible to find your way, whether you're a teenager who cuts herself, a married man yearning for his youth, a married woman searching for love, or an elderly man who causes a terrible tragedy; as long as you can forgive yourself and others. Red-tail was first issued as an original paperback in 2002. Newly released in 2017.
This novel is based on the true story of my friend and farrier, Levi Hochstetler
Augusta, Wisconsin 1996
Late one August night in small white frame house in a very strict Old Order Amish community that does not have electricity, running water, or telephones, a man starts a bloody trail across the bedroom floor next to the double bed where his young wife sleeps soundly. The blood trail snakes down the narrow staircase through the kitchen out onto the front stoop and onto the gravel drive where it ends in a pool, so that Levi Hochstetler, age 21, will appear to have been taken violently from his bed.
After awhile something wakes up Levi’s wife Rosanna. Perhaps it is the putrid smell of blood, or the barking dogs outside. She assumes her husband has gone to the outhouse but even in darkness she can see something on the floor. She sits up in bed, switches on the flashlight and discovers the blood trail leading to the stairs and down. Shocked and horrified, she climbs out of bed and steps cautiously over the splashes of blood, escapes outdoors, and races across the dark yard to the house next door where her in-laws hear her urgent cries for help. After tearing through his son’s house to see the blood trail with his own eyes, her father-in-law, Joe, must run across a cornfield in the dead of night to call the police on the neighbors’ phone.
When the police arrive, the house and driveway are immediately strung with alien yellow crime tape. Levi’s wife, parents, siblings, friends and neighbors are questioned exhaustively. At the break of day, police and bloodhounds search the farm buildings, grounds, and surrounding woods and cornfields. An aerial search ensues.
Levi is missing and presumed dead.
My poetry collection is now available in paperback from Amazon. Originally published as a chapbook in 2011 by Wild Leaf Press, this paperback is reissued with permission of the editors.
When the moon nibbles
at the edge of the delicate sky,
you become the nester.
The one most chosen to be stranded with.
You make the fire, draw the water,
bring the animals in from the storm.
I wouldn’t say you are my sunny child.
I don’t have one of those, towheaded,
easily beguiled. You simply are the sun.
You light a fire in rain soaked woods.
You change a tire for the city boy
wringing his hands, depending on you.
On Sunday evenings when there’s
nowhere to go, you sing a song about a river
that brings tears to your father’s eyes.
Your song calls all the great spirits, Jefferson,
White Antelope. For you, they drink from a new
cup and our past becomes beautiful for a moment.
You coerce your stubborn horse with words,
no silver spurs for you, no switch, just
“Come on Danny, catch up.” It’s the lawyer
in you. Words ferry you along windy roads,
across rutted ravines, through dark haunted woods.
You recognize the frightened fawn, solitary buck.
You startle the secret snake, cloaked toad. When
the night sky becomes a glittery display, it’s all
for you. Even shooting stars want your attention.
Dear Cicadas and Other Night Music
A cricket chirps behind the dryer. He wants to be heard, not by me,
from the blaring silence my feet on creaking floorboards causes.
If I walk away, he’ll turn it up again. What is that noise? People
from somewhere else want to know when the cicadas begin their love call.
You have to be in a place for awhile to understand its night music.
Near the dark woods you’ll hear the most bone-chilling wail like a woman
screaming from the other side of death and grown men with heavy rifles
get the chills and want their mommies. But it’s only the screech owl,
tiny nocturnal rodent-eater. Too, it was shortly after we moved that I threw
the cat out one night, I couldn’t stand his bedside ramblings and I fell asleep
to be railed awake by my very own cat wailing and sobbing, beseeching
me to rescue him from the foxes who were tearing him limb from limb.
But there he was the next day at the top of the corncrib peeking out
getting ready for his daytime nap and what I had heard was the foxes
happily hunting and making love with their mates. Cicadas do their calling
from ribbed bark of trees where they can get a foothold, a clean shot at your ear.
Never so blatantly attached to each other’s back ends like careless dragonflies,
cicadas are elegant lovers that leave their casements perched on fence posts like historic
markers. Rootbeer gems with gossamer wings, they make fine jewelry, found art, or
natural trinkets for children, tossed high in the air and flattened under skate wheels.