Poppy and her mouse family have always lived in fear of the predators of Dinwood Forest. Fortunately, Mr. Ocax, self-proclaimed owl-ruler of the woods, protects them on condition they seek his permission to leave the abandoned farmhouse they call home. When Poppy and her friend Ragweed venture out on their own, Poppy learns that Mr. Ocax is not the benevolent patron the mice think he is. He consumes Ragweed and chases Poppy home, leading the young rodent to question his sincerity.
Poppy’s indiscretion brings hard-ship to her growing family. Her father asks the owl if he can relocate his progeny to a larger building nearby. Mr. Ocax denies the request, citing Poppy’s impertinence as the reason. Poppy suspects that there is more to the owl’s response, convinced that he has deceived the credulous mice in order to shore-up his control of the forest.
Young fans of animal stories will consume this relatively short and simple first installment of the Tales of Dimwood Forest. Poppy’s sense of responsibility and loyalty compels her to rectify the harm her actions have caused. Although she begins to see the weakness in her parents’ reasoning, she still obtains their permission to investigate Mr. Ocax’s claims. Regretting her past indiscretions, she resolves to keep promises and risk her own life for her family.
Jennifer Minicus is currently a full-time wife and mother living in Ridgewood, NJ.