|FLY HOMER FLY
"Life for the farm pigeon was simple and easy with never a thing to worry about. However, there were times when he felt lonely all by himself way out there in the country, so lonely it was almost unbearable. Just the same Homer planned to live there for the rest of his days, and he would have, too, if a storm hadn't come rumbling over the countryside one morning."
"...there have been the almost stories, the ones that are going well until they are interrupted for lack of some small idea, a new twist, or an intangible something to get it going again. Such was the case of "Fly Home Fly", a story about a simple bumpkin of a farm pigeon who lived in an abandoned farm far out in the countryside. Homer was contented with farm life until "Sparky", a wise-guy city sparrow, talks him into flying off to the big metropolis. However, Homer quickly learns that the battle for survival with rough tough city pigeons is not for him and he decides to head for home. Then comes bad luck when Homer is struck by a flying fragment of brick from an old building being demolished by a wrecking ball. One wing is so severely damaged that Homer can't fly and is stranded in an alley with night coming on. Rats come creeping about, and a hungry cat has an eye on the pigeon. Now that I had put Homer into a desperate situation I was struck for an idea to save the poor pigeon: some quick clever imaginative solution. I went around and around on the pigeon problem for weeks before I finally put the story on the shelf, and I left Homer stuck there without a second to spare for many years, and wrote and illustrated at least ten other books before I finally came back to rescue him." "The solution to the story was a happy coincidence resulting from my studio serving as guest room for a cousin who visited us for a couple of weeks.
FIRST HOMER COVER ROUGH DRAFT
He left a wire coat hanger hooked on to my easel, and absent mindedly I made a sketch of it, more of a doodle. Then once the coat hanger was on paper it appeared to be airborne, and all at once it was an airplane hanger! or a sparrow plane! And with Sparky and six of his sparrow friends gripping the hanger with their feet they swooped down to rescue Homer at the very last second." Bill Peet felt this story illustrated the value of friendship and loyalty.
Bill Peet, Jr.
Copyright 1969 by William Peet, Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston