By: Clara Cartrette – email@example.com
Sara Galloway Lennon, Ed.D., has written her second children’s book, this time telling a story about the legend of Spanish moss.
Her first book, “A Class of Colors,” was published in 2015 and she dedicated it to the Siouan and Lumbee Native American tribes.
“The Siouan of Lake Waccamaw, my childhood home, influenced my love for the beauty of the lake and the land,” she wrote in her dedication. “The inspirations for the book were my students and the Lumbee Native American people of Robeson County. The respect that the two tribes instill in their youth have been instrumental to me in developing an effective guidance program in my career.”
Dr. Lennon titled her latest book “The Legend of the Spanish Moss,” which she dedicated to her grandchildren , Brody and Salem, wishing for them “to remember always to treat others kindly and respect others. These are the lessons that I learned from ‘The People of the Fallen Star’ of the Waccamaw Siouan tribe.”
Her “Once Upon a Time” inspirational story is beautifully illustrated by Dewey Andrew “Bo” Scott, whom she describes as a master craftsman and artist. “He has studied his skills from a very young age under the direction of his father,” she said. “He grew up along the banks of the Lumber River where he gathers much of his inspiration for his craft. He has three beautiful daughters and has great respect and admiration for the beauty and natural setting of the Lumber River.”
Scott’s artwork is outstanding, as he captures the personalities of the tribal children and adults as well as the old crow, the alligator, the lake, landscape and sunsets on the lake.
Dr. Lennon is a school guidance counselor for the public schools of Robeson County and has a passion and enthusiasm for working with young children from high poverty and diversified backgrounds. She has based her studies on the effects of poverty on students and is now considered an expert in the field.
She grew up on the shores of Lake Waccamaw, while being exposed to the Native American culture and the value of hard farm life, which led her to share the values of folklore and old proverbs. She finds the art of storytelling in the old folklore style engages children’s imagination to the mysteries of life and its valuable lessons.
Her story begins with the birth of a baby girl in the land of Waccamaw who was different from all the other babies born into the tribe. As she grew, she believed herself to be better than the other kids in the tribal camp. When they asked her to play, she refused, telling them that she was special and was born to be beautiful and admired, not playing with common plain kids.
The old crow would comment on her beautiful hair and ask to touch it, but she would shoo him away. That hurt his feelings and he would tell her that she was just a regular kid with beautiful shiny hair but had no friends. She called him a dumb old crow and he cautioned her to “never burn your bridges because you never know when you will need to cross back again.”
The crow’s words haunted her but she didn’t want anyone to see her upset. She ran to the swamp edge to walk around the lovely cypress trees and around the beautiful swamp ferns. She felt a tug on her hair and realized that the low hanging cypress limbs had caught her hair and were holding tight. Knowing that night was coming, she called for help. The alligators heard her cries and one moved slowly toward her. She realized she desperately needed help as the old crow flew by low to the ground hunting for night crawlers and bugs for dinner. He saw the girl’s difficulty and dipped over the gator, turning him away from the maiden who begged the crow to free her.
“Me? A common old crow?” he asked. The maiden realized she not only needed help from the crow, but from the others. She was surprised about the help she received, remembering how she had treated the kids and the crow.
The story has a happy ending, with the old crow snipping off some of her hair to untangle it from the cypress limbs, and the maiden apologized to everyone she had mistreated. “I am glad to have friends like you,” she told them. “I wish for my hair that hangs in the trees to turn silver and gray and spread in the trees to remind us that we all need each other.” So the Spanish moss hangs in the trees, spreading throughout the South to remind us to love and care for one another.
Lennon said the true legend of Spanish moss is rather cruel, but she wanted to make it a happy ending with lessons learned by the children who read her book. “The Legend of the Spanish Moss” was published by LitFire Publishing and “A Class of Colors” was published by Page Publishing of New York.
Lennon’s books are available at amazon.com or order The Legend of the Spanish Moss from firstname.lastname@example.org