Finnegan’s Quest


Now in paperback at Amazon.

Available as an e-book at most online bookstores, including:’squest/B007034OLQ

Finnegan’s Quest is a metaphorical fantasy that pokes fun at life’s foibles—political, religious, and social.

Adolescent fox, Finnegan, searches Squiggly Wood for the perfect guru, only to encounter resistance.  Even his teaming up with Crookshank, crow elder reputed to have an evil foot, is discouraged.  Pushing against this resistance, the two investigate its cause, only to discover a greater problem.  Someone wants to control all the critters in Squiggly Wood.
What others say:

“This is a book that’s meant to be read aloud and savored for the sheer beauty of the writing and the story itself.” Sandra Rector (Charlotte Perkins – Gold Digger)

“…a well-knit plot, with the distinct voices and habits of the main characters fully explored. It is funny, interesting, and like a proper allegory, it has lots of morals.” Gabrielle Poplar (Custodian of the Luima Legacy)

“The phrasing is lyrical, the comparisons are original and refreshing. It’s meant to be read and re-read.” Laura Libricz (The Master and the Maid, Heaven’s Ponds #1)

Here are three excerpts:


“Howdy, Weasel,” he said, reaching to shake hands.  “Name’s Finnegan, and I’m on a quest.”

“Squeeze, here.”  The weasel eluded his hand.

“Squeeze where?”

“That’s my name.  Dame Squeeze, to be exact.  What’s your quest?”

Finnegan hadn’t realized he was addressing nobility.  She certainly had a lovely white coat with a black-tipped tail.  A bit slinky for his taste.   And haughty.  According to Mama good manners won the haughty over, so he bowed.  “I’m seeking a guru.”

“I see.”  Squeeze held out her hand again.  Finnegan reached to take it in a friendly shake when she again eluded his grasp and said, “Toll, please.”


“You aim to cross this bridge?”


“Then you pay toll.”

“I never heard of such a thing.”  Finnegan started to go around, but the weasel blocked his way.

“I have nothing to give you,” he said.

“In that case you must wait to make an appointment.  Wait over there.”  She pointed at the edge of the willow surround.

Finnegan slouched into the shade.  Above his head a quartet of jays gossiped and quarreled.  Their exchange seemed meaningless, so he sat and glumly ignored them.  A rabbit hopped into view and dropped something into the weasel’s hand before crossing.  She dropped the payment into a straw pouch at her feet.  Then Squeeze groomed, combing her white coat from nose to tail.  After awhile a raccoon waddled up, paid, and crossed.  Squeeze yawned and groomed some more, brushing from crown to toe.  Finnegan became restless.  Had she forgotten him?  He cleared his throat to get her attention.

“To simplify this,” she said, without glancing at him, “I’ll sell you a season’s ticket.”

“I only want to cross once.”

“A one-way ticket, then.”  She calculated on her fingers.  “Let’s see.  There’s the toll, plus dues, plus–”

“Dues for what?”

“The worker is worthy of its dues.  Plus donation.”

“Donation for what?”

“To a worthy cause.  Plus initiation fee for first time use.  Plus insurance.”


At Finnegan’s appalled tone, the quartet of jays fell silent.

“In case you stub a toenail crossing, or a hurricane strikes before you’re over, or a flash flood hits.  Plus waiting-space rental.”


“That will be twenty grubs.”

Finnegan eyed Squeeze’s extended hand.  He whirled away.  “I’ll wade across.”

“You can’t do that.  You must use the bridge.  Duh Fuz says.”

“Who’s Duh Fuz?”

“The bear.”

“What bear?”

“The one nobody dares to betray.”


“My dump,” a furry behemoth yelled, its face almost in hers.

The young crow sprang upward, the whipped cream curdled in her throat.  She pulled against the air, throwing her shoulders into rowing through an ocean her attacker couldn’t enter.

But he leaped.

His claw-edged hand toppled her.  Somehow she managed to right herself and catch up with her buddies.  Only when they sucked in their breaths at the sight of her did she feel the pain and look down to see how her right leg had snapped.

It was her first encounter with Duh Fuz.

Crookshank slipped from her young self into the present and examined the outside of memories.  Her leg would never straighten after that.  It resembled an arm bent at the elbow, and she had learned to walk on the elbow.  Her toes curled like the fingers of a withered hand.

Clouds coiled over the memory, softening and obscuring it.  The past had little hold on her.  Except for one desirous speck of revenge.


Squeeze, the weasel, hustled away from the Sycamore.  That crow with the hairpin leg had always been a troublemaker.  According to local legend Crookshank used it to cast spells and hypnotize the unwitting.  Squeeze feared the legend, for not once had Crookshank paid bridge toll or maze fee or tribute to Duh Fuz.  Alone she wasn’t much of an irritant since she didn’t hang around much.  However, that could change, all because of Finnegan.

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