Rufus the farmyard dog first notices the strangely shaped snakes on the ground outside his house. The word they form with their bodies, DOG, looks oddly familiar. As Rufus goes about his patrol, the snakes follow behind. Soon dozens of snakes join in, until the farmer’s field is covered in words. What are the snakes trying to tell Rufus?
The farmer, busy covering up an old well in a far corner of his field, doesn’t realize that his action will destroy the wintertime home of the harmless snakes. But Rufus’s determination helps the snakes find a way to tell the farmer their predicament and save their home.
Tina Holdcroft’s illustrations are an energetic and fun-filled complement to a charming story that subtly presents the benefits of literacy as well as the importance of preserving animal habitats. A brief afterword gives young readers additional information about snakes.