39 pages 1 hour read

Ruth Stiles Gannett

My Father's Dragon

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1948

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Chapters 1-4Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary: “My Father Meets the Cat”

The narrator recounts past events. On a rainy day, the narrator’s father, then nine-year-old Elmer Elevator, encounters a bedraggled old cat and invites her home where she can warm up and have a bowl of milk. The cat, pleased, agrees. Elmer’s mother, however, dislikes cats and refuses to feed her.

Elmer apologizes to the cat for his mother’s rudeness, and cares for the cat in secret for several weeks until his mother finds out. The mother whips Elmer and kicks out the cat. Elmer finds the cat again, and they chat as they walk in the park. Elmer dreams of having an airplane and flying wherever he wants.

The cat, a seasoned traveler, thinks of a different way Elmer could fly. On her last and final trip, the cat sailed to the port of Cranberry, on the Island of Tangerina. From there, she crossed a line of rocks over the ocean to the jungle island, Wild Island, which is inhabited primarily by wild animals. There, she saw something terribly sad.

Chapter 2 Summary: “My Father Runs Away”

Wild Island is bisected by a large river that starts at one end of the island and travels to the ocean. The “lazy” animals find it inconvenient to walk around the headwaters to cross to the other side of the island.