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reading rehearsal "Max & Fiona"

Little Fiona and her family live out in the country. Their neighbour is Ronnie, a farmer who has lots of dairy cows. One of the cows is called Louise and she is Fiona’s special friend. Fiona visits her friend every day and brings her fresh grass because soon Louise will have her first little calf: Max. But when Max is born, and Fiona goes to see Max and Louise in their box, Max has disappeared! Fiona goes looking for him and finds him locked up in a tiny little box on another part of the farm. Why are Max and Louise not together? Why isn’t Max allowed to have Louise’s milk? And what are the grownups trying to hide? “Max and Fiona” is about friendship, courage, believing in yourself, freedom and milk. It shows that you can change something if you believe in it. Max & Fiona A book for people ages 5 and up by Marco Mehring Illustrations: Kerstin Falkenstein 128 pages with 39 colored illustrations ISBN: 978-3-7323-5628-7

Little Fiona and her family live out in the country.
Their neighbour is Ronnie, a farmer who has lots of dairy cows.
One of the cows is called Louise and she is Fiona’s special friend.
Fiona visits her friend every day and brings her fresh grass because soon Louise will have her first little calf:

Max.

But when Max is born, and Fiona goes to see Max and Louise in their box, Max has disappeared!
Fiona goes looking for him and finds him locked up in a tiny little box on another part of the farm.

Why are Max and Louise not together?
Why isn’t Max allowed to have Louise’s milk?
And what are the grownups trying to hide?

“Max and Fiona” is about friendship, courage, believing in yourself, freedom and milk.
It shows that you can change something if you believe in it.

Max & Fiona
A book for people ages 5 and up by Marco Mehring
Illustrations: Kerstin Falkenstein
128 pages with 39 colored illustrations
ISBN: 978-3-7323-5628-7

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I

live on the edge of a small village in

the middle of the country. Every

morning I get on my red bicycle and

go speeding down a narrow country road on

the way to school.

My school is surrounded by tall trees in the

middle of a forest.

The road leads along the banks of a small

stream that splashes past our house.

In the afternoon I get back on my bike and

ride home over fields and meadows, down

gravel roads, with my hair blowing in the

wind.

7


I am rushing back because of my best friend

Louise. I can hardly wait to see her and tell

her about all the things that happened during

the day.

Luckily, she doesn’t live far away. In fact, she

lives in a pasture just behind the house where

I live with my mum and dad, my little brother

Philip and our cat Molly.

“Well, well, well,” I can hear you say,

“your best friend lives in a pasture?”

Yes, because my best friend isn’t a person.

She’s a cow. She is the most beautiful,

friendly and wonderful cow in the world.

Come with me and I’ll show you Louise.

8


W

hen I come home after

school I ride through the

garden all the way up to the

fence of Louise’s pasture.

Then I ring the bell on my bicycle loud and

clear even though Louise is already standing

at the fence mooing.

Ringing the bell is a signal that we have.

When I come home from school I ring the

bell so Louise knows I’m back.

Her big eyes shine when she sees me.

9


“Hello Louise! Are you glad to see me?”

Louise waggles her head and wiggles her big

ears and snorts:

“Of course I am, but you haven’t introduced

yourself yet.”

Oh no, I forgot! My name is Fiona and I’m

five years old.

“Just a minute,” you say to me. “How can

you talk to animals and understand what they

say?”

10


“Well,” I answer, “I just imagine what they

say and most of the time it’s true, isn’t it,

Louise?”

“Mooooo.”

See? She knows what I’m saying.

I open my bag and get out some fresh clover.

“I picked this for you, dear Louise.”

She moos again and eats the clover.

I climb over the fence into the pasture and

watch her eating.

Apart from Louise there are fifty-nine other

cows on the farm but I like Louise best.

One day when I was little, I was in the garden

with Dad.

11


He was so busy pulling out weeds that he

didn’t even notice when I wandered over to

the pasture fence.

I wanted to meet the cows - they were so

lovely.

So, I climbed through the bottom of the

fence and suddenly I was in the middle of a

herd of cows. They stared at me when I

stretched out my hands and walked towards

them.

12


Some of them got so excited when they saw

me that they started running around

everywhere. One of the cows almost knocked

me over but Louise stopped her. Louise was

the youngest in the herd and she protected

me.

Mum and Dad were very happy that Louise

helped me and since that day they have loved

her. That was also the day she became my

best friend. Now we share everything.

Well, almost everything.

But not the grass and the clovers because I

don’t like eating all that green stuff.

I wish Louise and her herd could be outside

more often, but most of the time they are in

the dairy barn.

13


The dairy barn is a big brown building at the

other end of the pasture. It has windows that

are always dirty so the light can’t get in. I

don’t like it because it is too dark inside.

On both sides of the barn there are boxes for

the cows. Each box is like a small room with

very thin walls. In the middle of the barn

there is a wide path that goes all the way

from one end to the other. Along the floor

there is a long trough where the farmer puts

feed for the cows when they can’t go outside.

Louise’s box is right at the end on the left

and I visit her as often as I can. I take the

pitchfork, clean out the old hay and put in

new, fresh hay. Louise likes that. She loves

fresh hay.

14


Oh, I forgot to tell you, the dairy farmer is

called Mr Ronnie.

But I always call him Mr Tractor because he

is as big as the tractor he uses on his farm.

Mr Ronnie has hands the size of a spade and

he often mumbles to himself so I can’t

understand what he is saying.

Sometimes he tells me I’m not allowed to go

and see Louise because she’s busy.

I don’t like it when he does that because she

is my best friend and I love looking after her.

15


Other times strange things happen on his

farm. Some of the cows disappear and never

come back.

It is even stranger when new cows suddenly

arrive on the farm. Sometimes they don’t like

Louise. They eat her food or kick her with

their hind legs when she gets too close to

them.

I’m very glad that Louise hasn’t vanished like

the others and that I can still go and visit her.

16


A

t the moment it is summer and

it is hot. There is only a tiny bit

of wind and not a single cloud

in the sky when I visit Louise.

I stroke her black and white hair.

“Do you want to go down to the stream and

cool down?” I ask her.

She waggles her head.

This means, “Yes please, I am very hot!”

On the way there, Louise snorts and flicks

her tail to shoo away the flies.

It only takes us a few minutes to get to the

stream.

17


I go into the water on tiptoes. It is very cold

so, like a bird, I stand on one leg

until I get used to it.

Louise doesn’t want to go in at all.

She is always like this.

Maybe she’s afraid

of the water but I don’t know why because I

have often seen her putting her head into her

water trough to have a drink.

I think she is like a little princess who always

needs to feel special.

“Come into the water, Louise,” I call out to

her. “It’s nice and cold. You’ll like it.”

18

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