Reminiscent of the Lion and the Mouse, this is the tale of a boy who helps others and is then helped by himself. My students just loved this book and clapped as I finished it. The monster is creepy and comical and the boy’s good deeds are laudable.
Old Foot Eater is an awful monster who lives in a tree and catches young children by coiling a very sticky rope at the bottom of a tree. Old Foot Eater particularly likes eating the feet of small children. A lost boy, who has wandered so long that he’s forgotten his own name, sees a rattlesnake sunning himself on a rock. Rather than trying to strike at the snake and kill it, the boy acknowledges the snake’s place in the world and lets it be. As the boy continues wandering, he runs into a scorpion. He also lets the scorpion live. Suddenly, the boy walks right into the Old Foot Eater’s trap and is hauled up into the tree by the monster. Caught and placed into a cooking pot from which he can’t escape, the boy is saved by the rattlesnake who hangs down from the edge and helps the boy escape. The monster sees the boy escape and chases him. The scorpion gives him a medicine bag that allows the boy to spread prickly cactus on the ground around the monster, leading to the Monster’s own demise.