Gouache illustrations for a children's book, The Simple Farmboy.

This is a reworking of an traditional Pennsylvania German folktale that celebrates (with humor) the value of a simple way of life.  Both Old Order Mennonites and the Amish continue to thrive as they have for centuries, shunning modern conveniences, living close to the land, and maintaining their unique, historic German dialects.

In the story, the Simple Farmboy resists the farm owner's kind offer of comforts.  Then, leaving the farm with the farewell gift of a lump of gold, the Farmboy makes a series of trades that leave him with nothing but the clothes on his back.  The book ends with him going for an evening swim, feeling delicious free.

 

In his cottage, the Simple Farmboy had just one chair, one plate, one fork, one spoon, and one knife.

In his cottage, the Simple Farmboy had just one chair, one plate, one fork, one spoon, and one knife.

The Simple Farmboy met a man who, like his old horse, had four chin whiskers.  The man said, "I will trade you this fine horse for that big rock you're trying to carry."

The Simple Farmboy met a man who, like his old horse, had four chin whiskers.  The man said, "I will trade you this fine horse for that big rock you're trying to carry."

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