Richland author publishes children’s books
Cliff Dodge was born to be a storyteller.
Spend any time at all with him and that becomes apparent. Spinning tales isn’t just something he does, it’s part of who he is.
Recently, Dodge had decided to share that gift with a wider audience by putting some of his stories down on paper.
You can find them on Amazon by searching for Clifton J. Dodge and they’re worth the read.
Dodge was born and raised at a place called Point Cajun. It was called that, Dodge says because everyone who lived there was a Cajun.
“We were very poor in terms of money, but very wealthy in love and family commitments,” he said.” I wouldn’t trade my childhood days growing up in the swamps of Louisiana for any worldly possessions.”
His father and grandfather taught him all that they knew about living off the land and living for the land.
Then, on his 18th birthday, Dodge joined the U.S. Navy where he served for four years to become a Vietnam veteran.
The lessons and values he’s picked up during his life come through in his stories.
The Moss Tree tells about a staple of Cajun cowboy life.
“Raising cattle in the Louisiana swamp land was nothing like cattle ranching anywhere else,” Dodge said. “There was no hay to be had. Swamp cattle had to live off the land. During the winter months, the cattle would feed on honeysuckle, southern jasmine vines, berry biers and best of all was wild lespedeza clover and moss that fell to the ground. To a Cajun cowboy, a moss tree was as needed as a barn full hay.”
The Cajun Horn tells the story of Blue, a young Cajun who learned from his grandfather how to make and blow a Cajun horn and to communicate with it by using code. It wasn’t until Blue joined the Navy that he learned the Cajun horn code was actually Morse code. The book includes a poem to help learn the code.
Tee-June is the story of a white raccoon and his overweight sister, Mae, and how they faced and handled prejudice and bullying because of Tee-June’s different color.
Swampette is another tale about being different. This time, it’s told through the eyes of a baby swamp rabbit who’s adopted by a family of cotton tails.
Dodge tells his story with a easy sense of humor and a direct approach that makes them fun to read and leave you with a lesson.