The Yearling is a book that gets down to the very basic needs of a person – food, water, love and companionship. In a world dominated by social media likes and debates on reality stars, this story is hugely humbling and reminds us of what we’re really made of.
The Yearling is a story of young Jody, an only child who lives with his farmer parents in Florida post the Civil War. Their life is simple, but not easy. There is hard work to be done on their land, annoying neighbors to fend off, and of course, a lot of growing up to do as well. Jody’s mother has become bitter as a result of several babies who died before Jody, and seems rather detached. However, his father, Penny, has been through a tortuous childhood and is resolved to make it much easier for his son. It’s heartwarming to see Penny’s love for his son, and every parent can understand Penny’s wishing he could protect Jody from life’s difficulties.
Jody’s life turns around when a new, four-legged friend enters the scene. It’s lovely to see how a creature will reach out to another one for companionship – never mind the difference in species! It’s nice to read about the two lonely souls enjoying each other and you wish it would stay the same. However, life isn’t so simple, and eventually Jody has to realize this – the hard way.
In my opinion, this book takes you down to basics. As you listen to Penny, who takes great pains to inculcate a love of the earth in his boy, it gives you a whole new sense of appreciation for people like them, people of the soil. It’s a great reminder of the simple joys of our lives and makes us think of what’s really important, at the end of the day.