These two stories were previously published as part of “The Adventures of Roland McCray”, a collection of stories that see every moment as its own adventure, rather than adventure stories in the non-stop, action-packed thriller sense. They follow the life of Roland McCray from age eight to eighteen. These stories draw you into the unique and often innocent worldview as seen through the eyes of Roland McCray as his attempts to understand the culture and religion he encounters growing up in the south. Roland tries to see meaning in the world around him and to apply his values of honesty and thoughtful caring to his experiences.
Although Roland learns new things in every story, taken as a collection, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Roland McCray's story is one of life and religion growing up in the south. Young Roland hears the Parable of the sower in church and that those who are willing to listen will know the truth, that the desire for worldly riches are the thorns that choke our lives. He seeks a path through those brambles and thorns, a tunnel though the briar patch of life. This tale of one young boy's search for a moral life is told with rich visual detail, in a classic Americana style reminiscent of Mark Twain. It is suitable for readers aged 10 and up, and each story has a moral lesson for children plus the finer nuances of Roland's actions and observations can be appreciated by anyone older. Roland McCray's story is, in some small way, everyone's story.
More "The Adventures of Roland McCray" books are available at your favorite eBook retailers including print and audiobook editions and can also be ordered through some offline book stores and libraries.
In "Butterflies", Roland discovers that not everything is as it seems and he begins appreciate the freedoms he has and to empathize with those who don't have the things he'd assumed everyone else had as well.
"I turned back to Laurel. ”Hey, I got it!" I told her. "You can show it to your mom if you want to but you can't let it go; I'm keeping this one."
Laurel was on her knees in the grass, facing the other way. She got to her feet and began brushing dirt and grass from her clothes.
"Thought you could fly there for a minute, didn't you?" I asked her.
She turned around, cocked her head to the side and grimaced like she sometimes did. I felt the jar slip from my fingers and thump onto the ground, roll to a stop against a grass clump, but I forgot about the swallowtail. I couldn't look at the jar or what I'd trapped inside."
In "Poke it with a Stick", Roland learns to accept what he has, and that it is valuable even if not exactly what he wanted.
"Butch saw it first; because he was taller than the rest of us, he could see farther through the weeds that grew between the path and the road on the other side. He was the biggest kid in our group of four and we didn't know his real name. Maybe that was his name. But, it didn't matter anyway, because he always took up for the rest of us.
And Butch wasn't afraid of anything.
All I could see was a patch of brown and white. It looked like an old blanket or something. Butch stomped a path through the weeds and briars to get a closer look and Johnny followed him.
"It stinks," I said and stayed back on the path. Whatever was over there really smelled horrible.
"Poke it with a stick," Johnny said."

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